Electricals suffer weak sales in November

Electricals saw a weak performance in November, offset slightly by a Black Friday boost.

Despite a 22 per cent increase in sales of electricals during the Black Friday week, overall growth throughout November fell by 0.9 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

Total UK online retail sales were up by 11.5 per cent in November, compared with the same month last year.

Black Friday itself achieved a slightly higher rate of growth at 11.7 per cent year-on-year.

However, this figure was below the November growth average for the last four years, which was 18.3 per cent.

November’s overall year-on-year growth was also lower the 12.7 per cent average of the last three months (September to November).

Looking at retailers, IMRG data showed that medium-sized retailers – those whose websites generate between £10-£100 million a year – secured the highest share of sale growth overall, while results from large retailers – those whose websites generate over £100m a year – were more mixed.

Monitoring of 210 retailer websites in November revealed a more spread out discounting period, rather than just the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period, which IMRG claimed may have impacted overall revenue growth.

Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement, Capgemini, said: “Year on year performance is down across key categories, reflecting the continuation of a tough year for e-retail. While the Black Friday window offered a small spike in performance, it was nowhere near as impactful as the industry would have hoped. The growth in average basket value actually supports this, with ABV being up across most sectors. Its figures essentially serve as a proxy for discount levels – implying that customers are downgrading on brand or price point but increasing the volume of items included within their baskets.”

IMRG managing director Justin Opie commented: “Black Friday is all about discounting in the mind of the shopper and it’s perhaps unsurprising that, while ordering activity is high over that period, revenue growth is struggling to keep pace over November as a whole due to the long lead-in to the Black Friday period. It does raise a question regarding how retailers can actually assess success over that period. On the one hand, securing share of sales away from their competitors is obviously always important to retailers, but it might be that the measurement of success over the Black Friday period is less about order volumes and more about the longer-term view – how new customers acquired can be converted into regular, loyal, higher-margin customers through the quality of the follow-up marketing after the discounting peak is over.”