Online retailers in the UK are braced for a record Christmas period. The highest levels of online spending ever are expected according to forecasts by CapGemini and IMRG.
Last year’s Christmas period was an extremely strong one for online retail in the UK, and included the single busiest day ever for UK eCommerce. This year, consumer spending online is expected to be significantly higher still, with total spending of £10.8 billion forecast. If the forecasts are accurate, this will be the first time spending has exceeded £10 billion in this period.
The rush to buy Christmas presents is always a busy time for both online and offline retailers. For many companies, the weeks approaching December 25th are the time when most of their revenue is made. However, perhaps surprisingly, it isn’t all about the Christmas gift-buying season. The growth of online retail has enabled the sales to start on Christmas day itself. Once the present-buying is over, people head online again looking to get something for themselves.
As mentioned above, last year’s Christmas season included the single busiest day ever for online retailers in the UK. Perhaps surprisingly, this day was not part of the Christmas shopping season. In fact, the single busiest day that British eCommerce has ever experienced was on Boxing Day.
Boxing Day 2012 saw the UK population make an incredible 113 million visits to retail websites, making a combined total of 14 million hours online. This resulted Christmas day was not too far behind, with 107 million visits to online shopping sites made. With this Christmas season forecast to significantly equal last year’s, it may be that these records will be broken.
Whether these records are broken this year or not, this data underlines the role that online retail has come to play in consumer spending. It has been a consistently growing field since the concept was first introduced, and it is no secret that online shopping has become a major player in the UK’s commercial markets. The UK is the biggest-spending country when it comes to buying online, and is expected to account £1 out of every £7 of consumer spending by 2018.
With these facts considered, it is little wonder that online spending is expected to reach record highs this Christmas season. Even if the forecasts are not hit, the Christmas shopping period and following sales will surely see massive spending and be nothing but a boon to eCommerce websites. Every remotely successful retailer, from Amazon to a small online shop run by a sole trader, can expect to experience growth. So, presumably, can the UK economy.