NEWS

Online shopping steals record share of retail spending

Published on: 6th December 2016

A record one in four pounds was spent online during last month’s Black Friday, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium.

online-shopping-480 Online sales of non-food items, which includes homewares and clothing, represented 27.6% of all total non-food sales in the UK during November, against 25.3% the year before.

The rate of growth slowed slightly to 10.9% in November compared to 11.8% a year earlier, although it was nevertheless the third consecutive month of double-digit online sales growth.

Around £1.23bn was spent online on Black Friday alone, according to retail analysts at IMRG, while 64% of purchases were made on mobile devices, according to data from ChannelAdvisor.

“This was a record high for online non-food sales,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC. “Facilitated by the convenience of buying online, heavy sales periods, such as November, encourage an increasingly value-driven customer to shop around for price comparisons to fulfill their Christmas shopping list.”

However, Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, warned: “Retailers now face the challenge of processing the inevitable returns following the surge in sales, all too easily overlooked amidst the excitement of Black Friday. The pressure then turns to ensuring deliveries will make it under the Christmas tree in time.”

Total UK retail like-for-like sales rose by 0.6% in November, compared to a fall of 0.4% in 2015. Total sales rose by 1.3%, compared to 0.7% the year before.

The majority of shoppers decided to stay at home this year during Black Friday, with high street footfall slumping by 7% during the event as consumers opted to avoid the stampedes and crowds of the previous years.

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