Online shopping steals record share of retail spending

Online sales of non-food items, which includes homewares and clothing, represented 27.6 per cent of all total non-food sales in the UK  during November, against 25.3 per cent the year before, reports The Telegraph.

The rate of growth slowed slightly to 10.9pc in November compared to 11.8 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent in November, compared to a fall of 0.4 per cent in 2015. Total sales rose by 1.3pc, compared to 0.7 per cent the year before.

Black Friday tends to benefit electrical retailers and so many clothing retailers decided to discount early, running week-long promotions, to try and entice more online shoppers.

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