Online shopping on Black Friday rose by 12.2% over a last year, according to retail analyst IMRG .
Total sales on the single day of Black Friday hit £1.23bn, IMRG said. The data was compiled in partnership with tracking company SimilarWeb.
Ahead of the discounting day, IMRG predicted sales would rise by 16%.
Although the number of visitors to online retail sites on Black Friday continued to grow this year, the actual growth in sales revenue was held back by a lower-than-expected increase in the percentage of those visitors converting to buyers, the analyst says.
By contrast, each of the four days leading up to Black Friday (Monday 21 – Thursday 24 November) experienced strong sales growth of between 23.4% and 33.7%, with the increases in conversion rate much higher than that of Black Friday.
For the week as a whole (Monday 21 – Monday 28 November 2016), an estimated £6.45bn was spent on UK online retail sites (-4.8% below original forecast of £6.77bn) – as longer campaign durations, with new discounting deals promoted each day, served to spread the peak shopper spend over a longer period.
This raises the prospect of a £7bn online spend week for the Black Friday peak period in 2017.
Justin Opie, managing director at IMRG said: “Over the past few years Black Friday has consistently demonstrated a remarkable capacity for shifting in terms of size and scale. In 2014 the volume of orders exceeded forecast by over 30%, in 2015 we had empty shops and this year it seems to have become a genuinely extended period of heightened sales activity – taking place over a week (and more in some cases), which is not entirely dissimilar to the way that Xmas peak used to be online before Black Friday disrupted the established pattern in 2014.”