With only 88 days to go before Christmas, three quarters (76%) of UK consumers say at least half of their shopping will be done online this year, according to research published today by Yodel.
Nearly a third (29%) of UK shoppers have already started to buy their Christmas presents and just 3% say they’ll get everything in-store.
The survey of 3,165 people, which was carried out between 7 and 9 September, shows that festive treats have already been bagged by an estimated 18.6 million Brits.
Those in the North East are likely to be the most prepared (42%), followed by the Welsh (41%) with Londoners falling behind the pack with just 18% already having bought presents.
Overall, 18% of people say they will start in October, 25% in November and 23% won’t get around to it until December.
Just a fifth of men (21%) have gifts awaiting someone special, compared to 33%of women, and 13% of men admit to leaving all shopping to the last minute compared to just 5% of women.
Back in July, Yodel announced it would be setting caps for the volume of next-day delivery parcels it would accept from its retail customers. This coincided with research which indicated consumer interest in Black Friday is likely to be four times greater than it was in 2014.
From the point of view of avoiding too much peak-pain, the more online shopping is done in advance the better, as it will ease the burden on the delivery network, as Yodel is keen to point out.
Dick Stead, executive chairman of Yodel, said: “The advent of online shopping, speed of delivery and pre-Christmas promotions has changed the way we shop and we wanted to understand consumers’ shopping trends. The results are important because they give a clear idea of what to expect over the coming months as we plan for big spikes in the number of parcels that we deliver to shoppers, as well as return to retailers.
“It’s good to see that so many people have already started their shopping, and we are well prepared to handle the huge numbers of orders that are still to be bought.”
What can’t be predicted, of course, is whether shopping done significantly in advance of Christmas is being done in place of, or in addition to, more online shopping as the date draws closer.
The research is part of Yodel’s ongoing customer feedback survey, ‘Have Your Say’, conducted for Yodel by eDigitalResearch. To date the survey has been taken 1.7 million customers, providing Yodel with instant feedback on each delivery, and allowing the identification of areas for improvement and best practice.