UK online retailers struggle as Black Friday flops

UK online retailers struggle as Black Friday flops

It isn't just bricks and mortar retailers who are facing tough times. UK online retail sales have suffered their worst November growth since 2011, coming in at just +8.1% year-on-year (YoY), as Black Friday discounting fell flat, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

November fell below the three- (+8.3%), six- (+10.5%) and 12-month (+12.2%) sales growth averages, as the market experienced its lowest ever growth for a Black Friday week. 

“Black Friday was underwhelming from a revenue perspective this year and there are multiple reasons why shopper spend may not have responded as well as may have been expected. There is economic and political stability potentially impacting shopper confidence, plus the possibility that people might be becoming fatigued with the event – a factor compounded by negative stories released in the run-up, such as those by Which?" says Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG.

Heavy discounting had been going on far in advance of Black Friday. So 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,” Mulcahy concludes.

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