Online sales were up 40% in november, their largest month-on-month increase since the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index launched 15 years ago.
The index said that growth was down to the Black Friday period, in which shoppers compensated for withheld spending in October – when the index recorded its lowest-ever annual growth for the month.
The record-breaking spike in online sales was driven by the growth of mobile shopping, with purchases made via a smartphone accounting for 32% of all mobile commerce sales – a record high for these devices.
Sales made on a smartphone device grew by 97% year-on-year (YoY) while purchases made on a tablet reached a record low of just 12% YoY. The index said this demonstrated a “notable shift” in mobile spending habits.
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 out competing 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.”
During the month, online-only retailers saw sales increase 24% on the same period last year, 20 percentage points higher than that of multichannel retailers, which recorded just 4%.
Some 35% of all sales during the month were in the final week starting 22 November, this including the week leading up to Black Friday, when many retailers offered online deals, and the day itself.