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EDITORIAL The early findings on how shoppers bought this Christmas

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting on early findings on how shoppers bought over Christmas. Peak trading is the busiest time of many retailers’ years and this year how those retailers did over Christmas will be particularly important at a time of economic uncertainty. 

As yet, early indications suggest that shoppers continued to return to in-store shopping, perhaps in the light of postal strikes that delayed deliveries – and despite rail strikes. That’s certainly the suggestion from new BRC/Sensormatic footfall figures that show shop visits at their highest level since before the pandemic – although still lower than in pre-pandemic 2019.

At the same time, it seems that shoppers went online after Christmas and spent more than they did a year earlier. The week starting on Boxing Day saw a significant rise in both traffic and sales, according to Wunderkind analysis. Perhaps once Christmas shopping was out of the way, shoppers looked for discounts with a focus on saving money rather than with a sense of urgency about when items would arrive. 

Cornish clothing brand Seasalt, meanwhile, says it saw a strong return to stores this Christmas, although online sales fell short of last year’s record results. Interestingly, it says that its online channel feels the impact of a cost-of-living crisis “significantly more” than its stores. 

We’re also reporting as Amazon warns that it is cutting a total of 18,000 jobs from its global workforce this year – some in Europe – as it looks to focus on the way that its shoppers want to buy. But the retailer says its stores business is likely to be one area of job losses, as well as its people, technology and experience division. That marks a point of difference with how others that we’re covering today are are seeing shoppers buy this year, although there have been previous suggestions that the retailer is pausing the expansion of its stores business. We also report as the first date is set for strike action at a UK Amazon warehouse. 

Today’s InternetRetailing predictions focus on on how marketers are set to develop their use of social media in 2023. Live shopping, micro-micro influencers and the role of video are all key themes. 

In today’s guest comment, Alice Chang of Perfect Corp considers how technology can help retailers offer a more personalised experience

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