November online sales smash all forecasts marking highest growth in 18 months

November’s online sales jumped a whopping 54 per cent from October, marking the highest sales growth in 18 months thanks to Black Friday.

Online sales grew 16.4 per cent compared to November 2018, marking the highest level of growth since April 2018 and smashing forecasts, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index.

The months sales growth came well above the 3-month (10.7 per cent), 6-month (7.7 per cent) and 12-month (6.1 per cent) average, and was over double the eight per cent growth seen in November last year.

“The jump in November sales this year was well beyond expectations after an otherwise difficult year, could this be what retailers, or rather, consumers were waiting for?” Capgemini’s senior consultant Lucy Gibbs said.

Unsurprisingly heavy discounting periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are largely to thank for the sales boost, and Gibbs says that this was accentuated by low consumer confidence.

READ MORE: Amazon accounted for more than 30% of all UK online sales in 2019

“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 in the retail calendar are counted on for stretching wallet spend,” she said.

By category clothing saw its biggest sales increase since November 2016 rising 19.3 per cent, while health and beauty saw healthy growth of 43.9 per cent and beer, wine and spirits grew 37.3 per cent.

November also saw a dramatic recovery in electricals sales, shrinking its sales decline from double digits last year to just 2.58 per cent.

IMRG’s strategy and insight director Andy Mulcahy warned that this sales boost could mean consumers have far less to spend during December.

“After a year of very weak demand online, the November result is little short of exceptional. The uplift in revenue during Black Friday week was very strong at +11.7%, but actually growth was sustained across the whole month.

“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?”

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