UK shoppers began their Christmas shopping in earnest on Saturday and today (Monday) is the day they traditionally flood onto the internet to either get what they have found on the High Street cheaper of search for the things they didn’t find.
According to Footfall – the national pedestrian counting company – visitors to town centres declined by 3% in November compared to last year (but Brighton & Hove bucked the trend – see earlier story in knowledgebase) but visits to online shopping sites increased by 22% (source: Hitwise).
Furhtermore research by Visa suggests that shoppers will spend an average of 10 hours research on the internet before committing to a purchase and the majority felt that nine out of those ten hours were “very useful”.
Retail sales in the UK have grown by £26bn over the past five years but all but £2bn of that has been on the web and experts are predicting that online sales will increase to £46bn this year.
Research by Deloitte suggests that 44% of shoppers will buy at least one present over the internet although they will still only account for 10% of total retail sales.
Deloitte are also suggesting that Christmas 2007 will be the last gasp for consumers before the credit crunch hits and they tighten their belts several notches
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