Online sales jumped 18% year-on-year to £8.4bn in November, according to online trade body IMRG.

The latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index showed sales soared 25% on October’s figures as monthly sales topped the £8bn mark for the first time.

Sectors traditionally associated with Christmas experienced the greatest uplift, with health of beauty recording a 82% leap from October whilst gift sales rose 132% month-on-month and 38% year-on-year, the highest jump in almost five years.

Clothing sales jumped 20% year-on-year, the strongest growth across the sector this year, although IMRG and Capgemini noted that this was aided by promotional activity ahead of the party season.

“Online sales were also boosted as a result of temperatures dropping across much of Britain in November, with many people preferring to shop online as they updated their winter wardrobes,” the survey found.

M-commerce sales soared 309% year-on-year and the conversion rate reached its highest ever level of 2.1% over the month.

IMRG and Capgemini said this reflected increasing consumer confidence in completing purchases on mobile devices, along with continued improvement in the usability of the devices.

Capgemini head of retail consulting and technology Chris Webster said: “These results are particularly strong and gives a clear indication of what we can expect to see during the peak shopping weeks in December.

IMRG chief information officer Tina Spooner added: “Festive shoppers are using the internet more than ever before in the run up to Christmas.  With an increasing number of online retailers offering next-day delivery services, click-and-collect and later last order dates for guaranteed delivery before Christmas Day, even last-minute shoppers can enjoy peace of mind when buying their festive gifts online.”