Record-breaking online sales for November

Electricals saw online sales increase by 83 per cent in November 2015 compared with the previous month – that was more than double the overall e-retail figure.

So said the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, which also revealed that 39 per cent of electrical sales in November occurred over the Black Friday week.

The surge in online sales was driven by growth in m-retail, with purchases made through smartphones accounting for 32 per cent of all mobile commerce sales. Transactions on smartphone devices grew by 97 per cent year on year, however purchases made on tablets dropped to 12 per cent – the lowest ever recorded.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer, IMRG, said: “The record monthly surge in e-retail sales during November suggests that consumers were holding back in October waiting for Black Friday promotions, especially as this follows the weakest-ever annual growth recorded in the Index during the month of October. Gifts and electricals were the main drivers of growth in the week leading up to Black Friday, with around 40 per cent of sales during the month falling in this week for these sectors.

“It is evident that the shift toward mobile devices continues, with smartphones accounting for an increasing share of mobile commerce sales. In fact, smartphones have taken an additional 10 per cent share over the past 12 months alone, accounting for almost a third of m-retail sales in November, up from 22 per cent in the same month last year.”

Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital, consumer products and retail at Capgemini, said: “It’s becoming clearer that Black Friday is the online retailer’s day, taking sales away from the high street and outcompeting their multichannel counterparts. The significant shift to smartphones shows that those with a mobile-first strategy across the customer journey are at a distinct advantage. The results in December will tell whether the success for online retailers is limited to the day or the two-week period.”

Online-only retailers saw a 24 per cent increase in sales in November 2015 compared with the same period the year before.