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Online retailers still feeling effects of Black Friday

Black Friday (and the whole following weekend, plus Cyber Monday) has obviously become a big thing over in the UK now, and we saw that particularly strongly this year – with the effects still being felt now for online retailers.

This is according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, which has been tracking online sales since the turn of the millennium. The latest Index showed that sales growth was 7 per cent year-on-year – a good deal less than the forecast of 12 per cent. January also saw a 25 per cent decline compared to the previous month, though Capgemini says that’s in line with what’s expected.

The observed negative effects of Black Friday discounts coming through are on big price items from the electrical and home and garden sectors – these saw the biggest discounts last autumn, and both experienced a 9 per cent drop in online sales in January.

The cold weather we’ve been having did help some industries out, though, with clothing sales going up 14 per cent year-on-year last month – and the travel sector up an even stronger 21 per cent on last year (hitting a four-year high, in fact).

Another four-year high was witnessed in terms of the average amount of money spent in an online purchase, which reached £81 last month.

Alex Smith-Bingham, Head of Digital, Consumer Products and Retail at Capgemini, commented: “January’s Index shows that we have entered 2015 with steady growth in e-retail sales, with a shift in spending to categories such as travel, which offered differentiated promotions in January compared to previous months.”

“However, growth is being held back slightly by other categories, such as electrical and home & garden, which have seen sluggish sales since Black Friday. This suggests that the Black Friday ‘hangover’ has continued into 2015, dampening the traditional sales spike in key, high value categories during the January sales.”