The media had reported this year that the numbers from online shopping would outpace the amount spent at physical stores. But there wasn't any evidence to back it up - until now. There have been reports from many sources in the last few days, suggesting that we might have actually crossed that milestone.
A recent survey was conducted by leading global information management firm SDL involving 2,000 adults in the UK, on where they were going to buy their Christmas presents from. It found that 54.2% of their budgets would be spent on online purchases while 40% of their Christmas spending would be done in stores. The remaining - about 7.8% - would be from shopping channels on TV and mail order catalogues. However, among consumers above 55 years of age, more than half of them would still shop mostly at physical stores.
Among the other findings of this study
8.9% of the online shopping would happen through smartphones, iPads and tablets. Those in the age group of 24-35 years are more likely (15%) to buy their Christmas gifts online, through mobile devices or tablets.
6.8% of those who will shop online, would do most of their shopping during working hours. 11.6% of the 24-35 year olds would shop during working hours.
The biggest factors influencing the decision to shop online and Christmas shopping are price and convenience. Of these, the discounts offered by online retailers (36.8%), getting best deals (31.9%) and also the convenience of shopping from home (30.9%) were cited as major reasons.
In addition to this, 55.8% of the adults said that they had visited a physical shop to try out and see the actual products before they decide something online. Retailers should think about how they can cater to this type of customer.
Although the data says that more money is going to be spent on online shopping, physical stores still carry their weight. . Bob Hale, who is Chief Executive of the Analytics and Campaign Management Division at SDL says that they believe that this holiday season, customers will experience brands with the aid of multiple channels.
On the other hand, a recent report released by Ofcom, the communications regulator in the UK says that more than anywhere worldwide, consumers in the UK are going to shop online.
Consumers in the UK have now crossed the £1000 spend barrier, per year on internet shopping. With this internet shopping has become more popular in the UK than in any other country in the world. UK adults are also likely to shop on the go. Of those using smartphones, more than 23.1% use them to surf retail websites. The British make more use of mobile internet, than internet users in any other developed economy. This can be attributed to an increase in smartphone sales, greater access to social media, music downloads and online videos.