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85% of UK consumers will buy at least half of Christmas gifts online this year thanks to smart devices

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With Black Friday and Cyber Monday out of the way and just over a week until the big day itself, a new survey has revealed that the majority of UK consumers will do at least half of their Christmas shopping online this year – with around half doing so on mobile, especially when shopping in stores.

The research –The 12 Retail Days of Christmas – was conducted by Tryzens, the eCommerce systems integrator, and Magento, the eCommerce platform, into the buying preferences of 1,200 UK consumers during the build up to the festive season.

The study finds that 22% of people started their Christmas shopping in October, and 33% in November. Five per cent started in January 2016.I haven’t started mine at all.

Interestingly, more than a third of all consumers surveyed (35%) said that they have visited a store first before buying Christmas gifts online, and more than a quarter (26%) admitted to price checking items or even buying things from other shops with their smart phones while still in store, so the traditional Bricks & Mortar shop still has a critical role to play in the overall shopping experience.

Nine in ten consumers get their online Christmas shopping sent to their home address, but two in five (43%) shoppers never factor in delivery costs into their budgets at Christmas.12% of people will use a click and collect service over the Christmas period.

23% of consumers favour a Christmas gift wrapping service; 30% of men, and 19% of women and more than half (56%) will choose a specific retailer’s website for specific gifts, instead of browsing for inspiration, which 40% tend do.

Andy Burton, CEO of Tryzens comments: “Black Friday is now being seen as the springboard for the ‘Golden Quarter’ in retail. Britons are reported to have spent a total of £5.8 billion over the course of the Cyber Weekend this year, with online sales increasing by almost 21%. There is no doubt that this year consumers are spending more than ever, and importantly, are 100% comfortable with doing most or all of their spending online. The rising preference for smart devices proves that retailers need to take a mobile first approach and build on the improvements to other eCommerce features such as fulfilment – free delivery, click and collect and free returns – to close the circle and deliver exceptional mobile experiences.”

With more than one in ten (12%) buying everything for the festive season online, and a quarter claiming to have (26%) completed the majority of their gift-getting over the Cyber Weekend, the lesson for online fashion and apparel retailers is understanding how the UK consumer is shopping, get through the Golden Quarter and make enhancements to their online offering in 2017.

Burton adds: “These findings are also telling us that customers are literally in your store, earlier than you think, looking at your website, and your competitors’ websites on their mobile devices, and taking buying decisions on the move. There is a clear opportunity to close the loop with an omni-channel approach, taking advantage of things like social promotions, the ability to reserve in store via a mobile, checking stock levels and providing exemplorary customer sevice and fulfilment. So our message to online retailers is this: now is not the time to enhance your online offering – it is too late. But learn from these findings, understand just how and when the consumer is buying, analyse your final trading performance of the year, and take action to enhance your offering in the year ahead.”

The Tryzens/Magento research also found that price reductions and deals over the festive period are important to 91% of consumers, with those under 45 more likely to use the Cyber Weekend for the majority of their shopping (37%) compared to those over 45 (19%).

David Geisinger, Vice President, Head of Global Product/Partner Marketing & Retail Commerce/Innovation at Magento, adds: “Over the next 12 Days we will be offering further insight into what is driving buying patterns in the build up to Christmas. We wanted to understand how, where and when the UK consumer was buying and these findings indicate clearly that the trend to online buying is rapidly becoming ubiquitous, and that whatever you do as a retailer, content is king and you have to adopt a mobile first strategy. We would urge all online retailers to review their performance over the festive period and enhance their offering well in advance of the 2017 Golden Quarter.”

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