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A third of UK consumers will start their sales shopping on Christmas day using a digital device as traditions go out the window, study finds

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The first ever dedicated study of the role of digital devices on Christmas Day has found that 27% of people plan to start doing their sales shopping on Christmas day using a digital device.

The survey of 1000 people in the UK, aged between 18 and 65 by consumer research specialists, Intersperience, also found that technology is moving in on some of our Christmas traditions with one in five of us intending to use a digital device while eating our Christmas dinner, one on 10 will watch The Queen’s Speech (the actual speech, not the movie) on a digital device and half of parents will be putting technology as the ‘main present’ in their kids Santa sack.

“Whilst Christmas is about time spent with friends and family our findings show that many of us will also want to spend time with our digital devices. We will either be watching, or catching up with, the latest soap or the Queen’s speech, taking pictures or texting Christmas wishes. 13% of respondents said they would use a smartphone, laptop or tablet to connect to the Internet during the meal to carry out these activities,” explains Intersperience’s CEO Paul Hudson.

The survey also revealed that during Christmas Day 75% of us intend to use the internet at some point. Of those planning to do so, 25% of us use a laptop, tablet or smartphone to watch TV and 1 in 10 said they would follow the Queen’s speech on these devices.

But by far the most popular use of the internet on Christmas Day is social networking. With 61% of us intending to access these sites on Christmas Day, to send Xmas greetings, the tradition of keeping in touch looks set to be an important part of the day.

An important statistic for retailers is that over a quarter of us are planning to shop on Christmas Day leading Hudson to comment that: “Whilst this is one of only two days of the year shops aren’t allowed to open, it seems that our insatiable appetite for a bargain won’t let us rest. The internet has provided a route for us to start sales shopping earlier. This shows, more than ever, how important it is for retailers to have a good presence online.”

The survey also found that almost 1 in 10 parents plan to buy their under 18’s a tablet computer whilst almost 3 in 10 adults are hoping to receive one for Christmas.

In terms of the contents of Santa’s sack, there’s a split between parents who intend to put gifts of clothes, books and toys above digital purchases and those who won’t. 47% of us expect to purchase technology presents for our children this year.

“We are seeing digital devices making quite an impact on the traditions of Christmas day. We can expect their appearance at Christmas dinner, in Santa’s sack and we’ll certainly be using them to send each other Christmas wishes as well as starting our sales shopping,” adds Hudson.

However the 170 year old Christmas tradition of sending greetings in a card or letter stands the test of time in this new digital age. It is still the most popular way of wishing someone ‘Happy Christmas’. 64% of those surveyed said they would be posting their greetings this year.

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