E-commerce grows by a third in November with record sales online

November’s Black Friday discounts and price reductions saw shoppers spend 73% more over the internet than they did in October, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The Retail Sales Report: November 2018 from ONS unveiled that a record 21.5% of all retail sales took place online last month; the first month online sales have accounted for more than 20% of all sales. Overall internet sales grew by 13.1% compared to the same period last year, and were up by over a third compared to October. Average weekly spending online for the month has been calculated at around £1.8 billion.

When compared with the previous month, November 2018 displayed a growth of 1.4% in the retail sector after two monthly falls in September and October, which both declined by 0.4%.

According to the report, Black Friday and Cyber Week discounting and price reductions helped to instigate the surge in spending: “Retailers reported strong growth on the month due to Black Friday promotions in November, which continues the shifting pattern in consumer spending to sales occurring earlier in the year.”

It seems clear that customers held off from buying in October in order to buy the next month, indicating an increasingly savvy generation of shoppers adapting to this new “discount culture”, and expecting prices to be slashed around the November period, due to Black Friday and Cyber Week sales.

However, It’s worth noting that while November 23 (Black Friday) was included in the figures for this report, the 25th (Cyber Monday) was not, as the report covers the four weeks from October 28 to November 24.

This latest e-commerce growth improves on the April sales, which posted a 18.8% year-on-year growth and represented the greatest annual leap since November 2016, according to the IMRG e-Retail Sales Index data.

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Hayley Everett

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