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First Billion pound Boxing Day? Online sales set to boom over Christmas driven by mobile…

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As ever Christmas Day and Boxing Day are looking to be big spending days online, with mobile couch commerce driving sales – and this year could see the first ever Billion Pound Boxing Day.

IMRG estimates that online retail spend on Christmas day will reach £844m, which represents a 6.3% uplift on the same day in 2016, when spend hit £794m. Of this 44% – or £371.4m – will be spent through mobile.

Online shopping on Boxing Day is also forecast to exceed a billion for the first time, reaching £1.03bn, a 7.9% increase on 2016 when total spend was £954m. Here 40% of the spend will happen through mobile.

“On those days we usually see a higher share of sales going through smartphones, as people are away from desktops visiting family,” says Justin Opie, managing director, IMRG.

If that forecast is borne out by shopper activity over that period, it would mean that Black Friday continues to outstrip Boxing Day for online retail spend. In 2017, IMRG recorded £1.39bn spent online for that day – an 11.7% increase on Black Friday 2016.

Opie continues: “Boxing day sales remain a fixture of retail and an important day in the calendar, but Black Friday has altered sales patterns over the full peak period and is now the primary discounting event of the season. And perhaps, as with Black Friday, we’re seeing Boxing Day spend become more online-focused. Although going out to the shops on that day has long been a British tradition, footfall was reportedly down 7.3% on Boxing Day last year; it’s likely that spend on Christmas Day is pulling some of that order volume forward as well, as shoppers have the ability to browse and buy from the sofa on mobile devices during quiet moments at home and visiting family, redeeming the huge numbers of gift cards and coupons that they receive in place of presents each year.”

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