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‘Exceptional' November for online sales

Online clothing sales hit a three-year high last month, rising by 19.3% year on year - the biggest sales increase since November 2016.

Total online sales were up by 16.4% – the highest growth since April 2018 – as businesses capitalised on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, retailers have been warned this could mean a “subdued” December. 

The latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index shows that etailers benefited most from the annual discounting event, with sales up by 24.7%. Mobile sales, however, recorded their lowest-ever growth rate in November – down by 8.5% year on year.

Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director at IMRG, said: ”After a year of very weak demand online, the November result is little short of exceptional. There was a trend for retailers starting their [Black Friday] campaigns earlier in the month this year and shoppers seemed to respond readily.

“However, while this is undoubtedly positive news, it would seem odd if retailers suddenly experienced consistently strong Christmas trading after such a poor year. Since November captured a high share of sales volumes, will shoppers have anything left to buy in December? Early anecdotal evidence suggests December trading was very subdued in the first week.”

Capgemini senior consultant Lucy Gibbs added: “[This year’s] jump in November sales was well beyond expectations after an otherwise difficult year.

“The highest growth this year has been seen in the discounting periods – a sign that when wider consumer confidence is low, then the predictable sale events are counted on for stretching wallet spend.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • No mention that this was a pay day Black Friday. It wasn’t last year.

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  • Absolutely correct anon, Black Friday and payday was a great combination in the short term... but could lead to a December hangover as the John Lewis results for the start of the month indicate.

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  • Also no mention of the fact that Black Friday weekend’s Sunday, together with Cyber Monday, fell in December this year. Given such, I’d be surprised if the opening week of December didn’t see a boost market-wide.

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  • darren hoggett

    Hopefully this will stop the media peddling the myth that only 20% of clothing is bought online, when it is far, far higher.

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