Black Friday sales strong online…now comes the delivery test, says IMRG

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Online retail sales growth on Black Friday was very strong this year, coming in at +38%, with the full Black Friday week (defined as an eight-day period, Mon 23 – Mon 30 November) seeing growth of +30%. That figure is based on the daily online sales performance of 102 UK retailers.

The weekly figure was below IMRG’s original forecast of +35-45%, but it still represents massive growth on what was already huge volumes across that week. It is likely that the national lockdown in England pulled sales volumes forward to a degree, with the first three weeks of November all securing growth rates in the +56-61% range.

Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG: “Generally speaking, the patterns of demand we’ve seen across the whole year were maintained during the Black Friday peak, with home & garden the strongest category. In fact, the home & garden participant with the lowest online sales growth across the full eight-day week still secured a higher rate of growth than any other participant from any other category.

“With all that additional traffic to sites, we might have expected them to buckle under the strain a bit more but actually they seemed to hold up quite well. Now the operational focus is very much on delivery – the carriers have had to deal with huge volumes for most of the year, but the week following the Black Friday weekend is when it reaches a peak. Things seem to be holding up ok at the moment; if they get through the next few weeks without significant disruption to customer deliveries it will be a testament to their planning and execution.”