December is set to be a bumper online month, with around £7.75bn spent during the five-week shopping period, according to a report.
The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index claims that almost half this figure – £3.72bn – will be spent in the first two weeks alone (beginning week of 28 November). Christmas 2011 is also the first year in which mobile shopping will come into its own.
A total of 35 per cent more people plan to use the platform this year according to the research. Trends influencing the Christmas forecast include ‘Cyber and Mega Monday’, where people have browsed products in shops at the weekend, then made a purchase using fast broadband at work after payday.
Also, the continuing economic squeeze may have led to people spreading the costs of Christmas over a few months, and an increasingly e-commerce savvy shopper has led consumers to dot about the available channels to grab the best deals.
David Smith, chief marketing and communications officer at IMRG, said: “The shopping behaviour displayed by the agile consumer reinforces the importance to retailers of offering a multichannel solution.
“Consumers want choice and continually demonstrate their willingness to switch channels to suit their specific circumstances and secure the best deals for themselves. Anyone focusing too heavily on a single channel is certain to miss out on opportunities for engagement as and when they arise,” he said.
“With this in mind, this could well be the year that mobile really has an impact on sales activity. Research we carried out earlier this year with eDigitalResearch found that 30 per cent of tablet owners and 25 per cent of smartphone owners have used their device to shop online. Consumers are clearly not fazed by interacting with retailers through these devices, and the important role they play is only going to increase.”
Chris Webster, vice president, head of retail at Capgemini, added: “£7.75bn is a significant figure and one that is in line with the growth we have seen in e-Retail throughout 2011. We are still spending, but we’re being selective and this trend will be apparent this Christmas. Technology is evolving and so is the consumer.”
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