Industry

Christmas shopping set to be even better online next year: study

Christmas online shopping will increase by up to 22% next year, according to research from Logan Tod. The study also found retailers had good reason to improve their multichannel operations while also optimising for tablet as well as mobile sales. At the same time, delivery specialists reported sales sharply up over the festive period.

Next Christmas is set to be even stronger for online retailers than this one, according to a new study.

The Logan Tod & Co’s 6th annual Online Future Shopping Index predicts that next year’s festive shoppers will spend 18% to 22% more than they did in 2011. That’s a rate of growth faster than that achieved in the Christmas just gone.

Its data was gained from a survey carried out over December 2011 that found that 26% of online shoppers said they would spend even more over the internet next December than they did this year. This, says Logan Tod, is the highest measurement of intent to shop online recorded by the survey since it was launched in December 2006.

Its chief executive Matthew Tod said: “Whilst we weren’t expecting a decline in intent to shop over the internet during Christmas 2012, we didn’t expect such a strong indication of growth either.

“With mobile shopping finally ‘coming of age’, the sudden emergence of tablets which almost came out of nowhere, plus many companies finally getting to grips with multichannel retail, we are forecasting ecommerce going from strength to strength.”

The study found 14% of respondents used an iPad or alternative tablet computer to shop this year, almost as many as the 15% who bought by mobile phone.

“Our research demonstrates that tablets are now growing even faster than the mobile commerce market,” said Tod. “It is becoming increasingly evident that one of their primary functions is as online shopping tools, meaning retailers must include them in their multichannel plans for 2012 and beyond.

“They should now be creating separate PC, mobile and tablet strategies to reflect the migration of the most prolific online shoppers towards tablets.”

Some 57% said low-cost delivery options would encourage them to spend again next year, while 45% said they would be more likely to do so if stock availability was improved. Other motivators included improved payment options (46%) and money-saving offers (48%).

The importance of multichannel shopping was highlighted not only by the 45% who said they had used click-and-collect this Christmas, up from 38% last year, but also the 60% who said they had browsed a catalogue and then gone on to buy online, up from 39% last year. Some 39% said they researched products online before buying in store, compared to 32% the previous year.

“It is going to be another challenging year keeping up with the
ever changing multi-channel consumer,” said Tod, “but retailers should continue to invest in this area as consumers are still saying they intend to spend significantly more online in 2012.”

The results came as delivery specialists reported a strong year for festive online sales in 2011. Delivery management company Metapack said its eTracker 100 figures showed December deliveries 30% up on the previous year. In the final week before Christmas sales were almost double those of last year. It said sales started early and spending carried on over Christmas.

Meanwhile, Shutl, which specialises in 90-minute delivery from store to home, said 51% of its activity, which was more than 2,500% up on the previous year, took place in the 10 days from December 14 to 23. This year 600,000 shoppers were offered the option of receiving their goods via Shutl as the company has expanded outside London.