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Christmas shopping

Third of UK Christmas spending to be online

Christmas shopping

Third of UK Christmas spending to be online

British retailers hoping for a busy end to 2020 will not be surprised to hear that online sales are expected to account for 33% of spending for the last six weeks of the year, emphasising the importance of a strong internet presence.

In total, Brits are expected to spend £27.872bn online this Christmas, which will be up by over a quarter (25.1%) on 2019’s figures, and will cement a long-held tradition of the UK being a nation that loves to shop online.

The Shopping for Christmas 2020 report, compiled by VoucherCodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research, makes predictions of festive shopping trends both online and offline in seven major European countries. With one in three pounds of UK Christmas spending expected to be online, it represents a higher proportion than any other country studied, with Germany’s 28.5% leaving it some way behind in second place, and Italy and Belgium both anticipating under 20% of seasonal sales to be web purchases.

Combining online and offline sales, the UK is expected to spend over £1.3bn more on Christmas 2020 than 2019, but interestingly, the average spend per head is forecast to be slightly down, dropping from £257.50 to £234.23.

Unsurprisingly, the report factors COVID-19 and the resultant change in our shopping habits into these estimates. It notes that 66% of Britons surveyed in August were working from home, over twice the European average of 32.8%, and that this has led to fewer purchases of office supplies and fewer instances of workers going into shops before and after their shifts.

With or without COVID-19, online shopping has been growing year on year, but the restrictions of the pandemic have opened it up to a new demographic who previously preferred to buy everything at brick-and-mortar stores. With many of them expected not to give up online shopping even after the pandemic, investing in a well-designed website looks set to be a shrewd long-term move, so speak to Engage Web to learn how we can help.

John Murray
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