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93% of consumers will buy a gift online this Christmas

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93% of UK consumers plan to shop online for their Christmas gifts this year, with more than a quarter planning to do more shopping online than last year, according to the latest e-Customer Service Index (eCSI) from eDigitalResearch and IMRG.

The survey of 2,804 people asked questions about their shopping habits in the run up to Christmas. Results show that increasing numbers are flocking online with 71% even prepared to do half or more of their shopping online this Christmas.

However, the findings also support current assumptions that price will continue to dominate the online marketplace, as people are prepared to shop around to get the best deals. Competition for business will be fierce as 88% of shoppers are expected to research and price-compare before they buy, with almost a quarter of them researching while in-store or at home via their mobile phones.

"Given the online price war, retailers need to up their game and prove that they can respond effectively to all customer queries through their preferred method of contact," says eDigitalResearch's Chris Russell. "Having good communication with consumers is vital as it encourages trust in the brand and engenders consumer loyalty. Retailers that will succeed are those that anticipate online growth and ensure that they are well-resourced to effectively communicate with their customers."

"People are set to deck the halls with online shopping this Christmas, the internet clearly being the first place most of us go to find, buy and organise everything these days," adds IMRG's James Roper. "Younger shoppers are already buying pretty much everything online, so retailers may do well to focus on older shoppers — a growing sector, with more money to spend."

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