It’s going to be an online Christmas in the UK. Yes, I know analysts say that every year but this time it’s for real. More than half of our Christmas shopping WON’T be through physical stores with an Adobe survey of 400 consumers saying that 57% of shopping will be online instead.
Just think about that – online is still small annually compared to the amount we spend when we walk into an actual store. But this month and next, Britons will be trawling their laptops, tablets and smartphones to find gifts, self-gifts, food, decorations and so much more without the hassle of long queues and trying to find a parking space.
Adobe’s Digital Index Online Holiday Shopping Prediction report also says we’ll be spending £17.7bn online, up 7% on last year. And on Black Friday (November 27, my birthday for anyone who’s interested), we’ll be spending £474m, more than any other country in Europe.
So why the big migration to online? It’s all about lower prices and deals, according to over two-thirds of shoppers. But it’s also about lessening stress levels. As many as 24% of consumers rate Christmas shopping in-store as very stressful but only 6% of online shoppers feel frazzled by the process. And 24% even say they’ll be able to waste less time shopping just because of the web.
Equally important, the migration isn’t only towards online, it’s to mobile as well. Nearly a quarter of our Christmas shopping will be done on smartphones or tablets.
Maybe it won’t be too many years before all those pictures of people scuffling in-store to grab that cut-price TV will seem as historically quaint as re-runs of Morecambe & Wise Christmas specials. We can but hope.