Online retail has suffered its worst November sales growth since 2011 after lacklustre Black Friday trading.

Online sales increased by 8.1% year on year, the lowest November growth for seven years, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. The market also experienced its worst ever growth for a Black Friday week.

November fell below the three-month, six-month and 12-month sales growth averages, which came in at 8.3%, 10.5% and 12.2% respectively.

Multichannel retailers underperformed pureplays. Their trading was up 6.3% and 11.6% respectively year on year.

IMRG strategy and insight director Andy Mulcahy said: “One thing that is clear from our research is that heavy discounting had been going on far in advance of Black Friday, which lessens retailers’ capacity for grabbing attention by going into sale.

“Did the sheer scale of the discount rates suppress revenue? Or is the overall peak spend getting more evenly spread throughout the Christmas build-up this year, due to Black Friday falling so early in November before many people had been paid? It’s a very complicated story this year, but the duration and depth of discounting rates are likely to be very significant.”

Some categories of retail did buck the overall trading trends. The health and beauty sector achieved 25.1% year-on-year growth and an increase of 95.5% compared to October 2018.

In contrast, the gift sector’s sales fell 10.3% compared to the same time last year.