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IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index: Highest ever monthly online sales growth fuelled by smartphone spending

16 Dec 2015

London – The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index have revealed that online retail sales in November recorded their highest ever month-on-month (MoM) growth since the Index launched 15 years ago – up 40%. During the Black Friday period, shoppers compensated for withheld spending in the previous month, when the Index recorded its lowest ever annual growth for the month of October.

The record-breaking spike in online sales was driven by the growth of m-retail, with purchases made via a smartphone accounting for 32% of all mobile commerce sales – a record high for these devices. Sales made on a smartphone device grew by 97% year-on-year (YoY) while purchases made on a tablet reached a record low of just 12% YoY, demonstrating a notable shift in mobile spending habits.

Electricals and gifts, sectors that would be expected to do well during the Black Friday period, both registered impressive MoM growth rates of 83% and 134% respectively. 39% of electrical sales and 40% of gift sales fell in the week of Black Friday. However, electricals registered just 5% YoY growth over the month as a whole – significantly lower than the Index growth rate of 11% – continuing what has been a disappointing year for growth in this sector.

Alex Smith-Bingham, Head of Digital, Consumer Products and Retail, Capgemini, commented:  “It’s becoming clearer that Black Friday is the on-line retailer’s day, taking sales away from the High Street and outcompeting their multichannel counterparts. The significant shift to smartphones shows that those with a mobile-first strategy across the customer journey are at a distinct advantage. The results in December will tell whether the success for on-line retailers is limited to the day or the two-week period.”

Tina Spooner, chief information officer, IMRG said: “The record monthly surge in e-retail sales during November suggests that consumers were holding back in October waiting for Black Friday promotions, especially as this follows the weakest-ever annual growth recorded in the Index during the month of October. Gifts and electricals were the main drivers of growth in the week leading up to Black Friday, with around 40% of sales during the month falling in this week for these sectors. 

“It is evident that the shift toward mobile devices continues, with smartphones accounting for an increasing share of mobile commerce sales.  In fact, smartphones have taken an additional 10% share over the past 12 months alone, accounting for almost a third of m-retail sales in November, up from 22% in the same month last year.”

In November, online-only retailers saw sales increase 24% on the same period last year, 20 percentage points higher than that of multichannel retailers, which recorded just 4%.

Whilst the Index spans November 2015, 35% of all sales were in the final week, commencing 22nd November, which included Black Friday. Note that Cyber Monday sales (30 Nov) will be included in the December figures this year.


About the ‘IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index’

The IMRG Capgemini Index, which was started in April 2000, tracks ‘online sales’, which we define as ‘transactions completed fully, including payment, via interactive channels’ from any location, including in-store. 

Over one hundred e-retailers now regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini Index, including

A. Hume Country Clothing, Amara, Appliance House, Arcadia Group (Burton, Top Man, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Miss Selfridge), Ask Direct,, B&Q, Ben Sherman, Berry Bros & Rudd, Blacks,, Boots, Brora,, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Tyrwhitt, Clarks, Clinkards,,, Damart, Debenhams, Deckers, Dunelm Mill, Effortless Skin, Ethical Superstore,, Firebox, First Choice, Freemans Grattan Holdings (Freemans, Grattan, Look Again, Kaleidoscope, Curvissa, Swimear365, Witt International UK), Game, Get The Label,, House of Fraser,, JD Sports, JD Williams, John Lewis Partnership,, Lakeland Furniture, Liz Earle, LK Bennett, M and M Direct, Made in Design, Majestic Wine, Marks & Spencer,  Millets, Moss Bros, Naked Wines,, New Look, Next,,,,, QVC, Sainsbury’s, Scales Express, Schuh, Scotlight Direct, Scott,,, Shop Direct Home Shopping (Littlewoods, Very, Very Exclusive, Serenata Flowers, Silentnight, Size, Sofa and Home, Sparkling Strawberry,,, The Body Shop, The Great Gift Company, The Mat Factory, The White Company, TUI UK, Turton Wines, Universal Music,  Waitrose, Within Home, Woods of Shropshire & Wynsors World of Shoes.

About IMRG

For over 20 years, IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) has been the voice of e-retail in the UK. We are a membership community comprising businesses of all sizes – multichannel and pureplay, SME and multinational, and solution providers to industry.

We support our members through a range of activities – including market tracking and insight, benchmarking and best practice sharing. Our indexes provide in-depth intelligence on online sales, mobile sales, delivery trends and over 40 additional KPIs.

Our goal is to ensure our members have the information and resources they need to succeed in rapidly-evolving markets – both domestically and internationally.

About Capgemini

Now with 180,000 people in over 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2014 global revenues of EUR 10.573 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business, technology and digital solutions that fit their needs, enabling them to achieve innovation and competitiveness. A deeply multicultural organization, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.

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