Dec 7, 2016
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November UK e-sales surge, year-long trend accelerates for non-foods

Dec 7, 2016

More than a quarter of UK retail sales were online last month as the effects of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals drove shoppers to their computers, smartphones and tablets, British Retail Consortium (BRC)/KPMG figures show.

But while deals may have had a disproportionate effect on the figures, the increase is part of an almost-year-long trend that has seen online sales shooting skywards.

Britons moved online in November in unprecedented numbers

Online sales accounted for 27.6% of retail turnover in November, the highest figure ever recorded and the 11th successive month in which the figure was more than 20%.

The rise came as non-food product sales overall in Britain grew 10.9% during the month and grew 40% in Black Friday week.

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG said: “There was an increased preference for shopping online this November, undoubtedly the result of the Black Friday shopping bonanza that has grown in popularity in the UK. All categories performed well. Health and beauty products continued to remain popular. In the midst of the overpowering scent of the discounts galore, the category stood out.

But he added that “retailers now face the challenge of processing the inevitable returns following the surge in [online] sales, all too easily overlooked amidst the excitement of Black Friday.”

BRC chief Helen Dickinson added: “Retailers of goods that don’t traditionally benefit from the event, such as clothing, saw weaker Black Friday week sales this year, but made the most of the increased online traffic in the weeks building up to the 25th November by offering promotions to capture shoppers browsing for early bargains.”

Meanwhile, Hitwise figures showed that of almost 243m visits to retail websites on Black Friday, Amazon and Argos enjoyed the bulk of visits while department stores had a 41% share.

Two categories that saw strong growth were beauty products (up 14%) and fitness products (up 12%).

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