November sees biggest online sales spike ever

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by Sarah Blackman

Online retail sales reached record-breaking heights in November, driven by a successful Black Friday, according to new figures out today.

Internet sales were up 37% month-on-month, representing the largest October-November increase in 14 years, the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index shows.

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The news follows reports of 2.4% fall in November footfall by the British Retail Consortium earlier this week.

Year-to-date, online retail sales are up 15% and following a strong start to December with Cyber Monday, this figure is expected to reach 16% at the end of the year, in line with IMRG and Capgemini’s 2014 growth forecast.

The record-breaking spike in online sales can in part be attributed to this year’s Black Friday’s sales success, with sales up 44% in the week commencing November 23 alone, compared with the previous week, according to IMRG chief information officer Tina Spooner.

"The unprecedented level of traffic to retail websites over Black Friday weekend resulted in a significant spike in online sales during the last week of November. In fact, sales on Black Friday alone surged 135% year-on-year as consumers flocked to retail websites on what turned out to be the busiest online shopping day of the year, to date,” she said.

“Many retailers reported that Black Friday was their biggest ever day for online sales, however some reported a slowdown in sales in the days leading up to Black Friday as consumers waited for discounts and promotions before starting their Christmas shopping. Consequently, last month we saw the steepest ever October to November growth in the 14-year history of the Index, with sales up 37% month-on-month.

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