Online spending has surged during November bolstered by Black Friday promotions.

Online sales grew 16.4% year on year during November, compared with 8% the previous year, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index figures.

This was the highest growth of the year to date and 54% higher month on month. The average October-to-November growth is around 40%.

Online clothing sales registered the highest growth with a 19.35% increase since November 2016. Health and beauty sales during the period surged 43.9%, and beer, wine and spirits rose 37.3%.

Online-only retailers recorded the highest growth during Black Friday and Cyber Monday with sales up 24.7% compared with multichannel retailers growth of 9.2%.

Capgemini senior consultant Lucy Gibbs said: “The jump in November sales this year was well beyond expectations after an otherwise difficult year, could this be what retailers, or rather, consumers were waiting for.

“The highest growth this year has been seen in the discounting periods; a sign that when wider consumer confidence is low then the predictable sale events in the retail calendar are counted on for stretching wallet spend.

“Online-only retailers were the biggest winners where higher conversion and larger decreases in ABV suggest deeper discounting strategies than the multichannel players.

“Will having so much increased activity concentrated in the black November events after a tricky year provide the boost needed or add to the challenge of maintaining profit margins this year?“

IMRG strategy and insight director Andy Mulcahy said: ”After a year of very weak demand online, the November result is little short of exceptional. The uplift in revenue during Black Friday week was very strong at +11.7%, but actually growth was sustained across the whole month.

“There was a trend for retailers starting their campaigns earlier in the month this year and shoppers seemed to respond readily. However – while this is undoubtedly positive news, it would seem odd if retailers suddenly experienced consistently strong Christmas trading after such a poor year. 

“Since November captured a high share of sales volumes, will shoppers have anything left to buy in December? Early anecdotal evidence suggests December trading was very subdued in the first week – how is it going to balance out overall?”