Online sales surge

Shoppers spent £5.3bn online during November in the run up to Christmas.

Online sales were up 25% on October and up 11% on November last year according to the Capgemini IMRG e-Retail sales index.

E-tailers were seeing a surge in sales from the first week in November as shoppers prepared for Christmas but the index showed slower rates of growth than in previous years, which suggests shoppers were holding out for further sales and discounts in December.

There was a seasonal boost to sales of gifts and accessories, up 105% and 114% respectively on October sales.

With some online retailers offering pre-Christmas delivery on orders made until the 23 December and some offering same-day delivery on Christmas Eve, shoppers will be able buy last minute gifts online.

Mike Petevinos, head of consulting for retail at Capgemini UK, says:
“November’s results show a solid growth for online retail in the run up to Christmas. Given retailers perceptions that consumers are holding out for bargains, this would suggest a strong December for online. The challenge will be to ensure that value is at the forefront of the Christmas message, with carefully designed promotions becoming the norm across the sector. Inspiring confidence in late delivery windows could also become a differentiator for those that have got it right.”

The figures follow mixed messages about Chirstmas sales from the British Retail Consortium and the Office for National Statistics.

According to the ONS retail sales in November fell at their fastest pace since May with total sales volume decreasing by 0.3%, whilst non-food stores sales growth fell by 0.9%.

John Lewis has reported three consecutive weeks on record breaking sales throughout December.

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