Online retailers ramp up discounts by a third

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Christmas shopping

Online retailers increased discounting by a third in October in an attempt to combat slow consumer spending across summer.

Capgemini IMRG’s e-Retail Sales Index found online retail sales growth in October was the second slowest ever recorded, up just 8.5 per cent, with the growth of sales from smartphone devices also down to just a 17.2 per cent rise, compared to a 53 per cent rise for the same period last year.

“The latest figures corroborate a trend that has become increasingly evident over the past few months – even months before Black Friday, a lot of retailers found themselves stuck in discounting cycles,” said IMRG strategy and insight director Andy Mulcahy.

“In the third-quarter, the percentage of revenue from items sold at a discounted rate was up by almost a third compared to the same period in 2017,” he added.

Meanwhile research from GlobalData found shoppers are were in fact holding back on spending online in October in anticipation of Black Friday.

Instore spending in October rose a modest 2.6 point increase in GlobalData’s total retail spend index as shoppers started their Christmas shopping but held back on spending due to the expectation of Black Friday deals in November.

GlobalData saw spending in toys and game equipment rise during October – both key categories for Christmas gifts.

“The instore retail spend index rose by 4.6 points on September while the online retail spend index fell by 3.8 points, driven by muted online spending on electricals and clothing in particular as many consumers delayed their purchases, awaiting the Black Friday period,” said GlobalData retail analyst Emily Salter.

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