Retailers prepare for biggest online Christmas

21 November 2014

Retailers prepare for biggest online ChristmasOnline sales in the run up to Christmas this year are expected to grow by 19.5% over 2013, with UK shoppers expected to spend £17.4 billion online.

Total Christmas sales are predicted to reach £74.3bn according to research conducted by the Centre of Retail Research for RetailMeNot, with the average UK household spending £775 on all of their Christmas shopping.

With British consumers increasingly using tablets and smartphones to shop, mobile purchases are expected to account for over 30% of all online Christmas sales, up 301% compared to last year and representing a total of £5.2bn.

The optimistic outlook for retailers is backed by the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). After a disappointing September for retailers, the UK October sales figures have shown a marked upturn, increasing 4.3% on the year.

British shoppers are increasingly taking advantage of online deals on so-called Cyber Monday, which falls on 1st December this year.

What started life as a US marketing event has quickly become a shopping phenomenon around the world. Cyber Monday always falls on the first Monday after Thanksgiving.

Cyber Monday is now being embraced by thrifty Brits, says Rakuten Marketing, who take advantage of cashback deals and other offers from the comfort of their sofas.

Rakuten reports that the largest sales peak over the Christmas period occurs on Cyber Monday. In addition, the preceding “Black Friday” also increasingly drives sales for retailers.

Sumitra Joy, head of analytics at Rakuten Marketing, said: “Marketers need to be making their brand visible on these days, as well as the days following and leading up to them, to be in the game this Christmas.”

She advised: “Brands should harness detailed shopping insights to target their customers with the right campaigns, and by understanding the most popular dates, times, as well as products and devices, retailers can create targeted content to stand out at this very competitive time of year.”

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