Three quarters of UK consumers will do half their Christmas shopping online

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.




Main Image – Boxing Day at Eaton Center, copyright Skeezix1000 ( reproduced under Creative Commons.)
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One thought on “Three quarters of UK consumers will do half their Christmas shopping online

  1. Some great points made here. With such a high volume of consumers predicted to shop online this year, preparing retailers for what to expect around Black Friday and Christmas is a wise move from Yodel. For retailers to really maximise the potential of such seasonal events – in addition to giving customers what they want whenever and wherever is convenient for them, making the returns process as easy as possible and delivering great service levels across channels at all times – it’s important to be much more transparent when it comes to communicating the SLA’s to consumers. If a consumer is worried their parcel won’t arrive on time because the SLA’s have not been correctly relayed, they will simply go and shop elsewhere. This will leave the retailer with a return to process and a product that potentially needs to be discounted if it can’t be made available for re-sale quickly enough and sold before the season is over.

    It’s all about creating a frictionless process. Whether it’s the hand-off between the DC and the delivery partner or the quality of service provided online versus in-store, each part of the customer journey must be seamless in order to deliver the optimum experience and maximise the chances of a customer staying loyal.

    Craig Sears-Black, Managing Director, Manhattan Associates

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