Christmas Shopping in the Digital Age

Deloitte revealed research indicating a boom in sales, largely thanks to the ease of online shopping.

Stores across the UK expect to see an overall increase in spending by 1.4 billion GBP making the total expenditure for the season 40.3 billion GBP.  Online sales are expected to jump by almost 20% in the Christmas season and these sales are expected to generate 5 billion GBP in revenue.  A major contributing factor of the boom is the ease in which you can purchase a product from websites. A large number of companies have made an effort to make the flexible delivery process as quick and smooth as possible, and it would seem that it has paid off.

Ian Geddes, Deloitte’s head of retail in the UK, explains, “The consumer will be challenging retailers’ ability to deliver a sofa at home in a specified time slot; transfer a party dress to their local store for same-day collection and drop off their Christmas DVDs at a convenient locker.”

In addition, the research revealed that another factor to the increased spending is a rise in consumer confidence. The improving economic climate has encouraged many shoppers to feel comfortable enough to spend money. Government information also supports this research by indicating that consumer spending is on the rise across the UK.

Home furniture stores are expected to do well this season as well as department stores. Predictions also indicate that with all the Christmas meals being cooked, food will continue on its competitive streak.

Also, new gaming consoles such as the PS4 and the Xbox One, are the saving graces for electronic retailers this season. Hopes for tablets and PCs also, generally, remain high during the gift giving season.

The firm’s research also reveals specific information from consumers regarding what they believe is the most convenient method of delivery and pick-up services.  36% of UK shoppers feel that smaller products should be picked up from allocated collection points around the country in assorted stores and lockers. While almost 50% of customers feel that empty stores would make convenient collection points for their online purchases.

Overall expenditure is expected to rise in the final quarter of this year, with a year-on-year increase of 2.2%. This will amount to a total of over 88 billion GBP, which also happens to be the largest rise in spending in over 5 years.

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