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Tablet use doubles over Christmas period, finds IMRG

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Tablet use over Christmas Day and Boxing Day in 2011 doubled compared with 2010, as 8% of consumers now use these devices as their main means of getting online, according to the annual Christmas activity survey from eDigitalResearch and IMRG.

The results also saw record numbers of consumers visiting social media sites over the two days, with just under half (45%) of online users logging into their accounts, up from 20.8% last year. The annual Christmas activity survey also saw a 1% rise in the number going online with 86% of all UK online consumers now logging on over the two days.

Derek Eccleston, Head of Research at eDigitalResearch, explains: “Looking at the results, we can see that the internet is now a crucial part of everyday consumer life. Many see logging on during Christmas and Boxing Day as the norm, especially when trying out new gadgets and Christmas gifts. The rise in tablet use and social media sites is an indication for retailers what’s to come in 2012 and it’s important to optimise shopping and browsing use across all available channels in order to boost income and customer loyalty”.

The survey also found that more and more people used the internet, as well as their smartphones, for their Christmas shopping this year. 71% of consumers purchased some of their gifts online, up 1.3% on last year’s figures, whilst half (50%) of all online consumers now say that they do the majority of their Christmas shopping online. 18% of smartphone owners did up to half of their Christmas shopping online, with almost 30% saying that they did up to 50% of their pre-purchase research on their mobile device.

For the first time this year, shoppers saw discounts across the high street and online before Christmas day itself, as retailers attempted to get consumers spending again. Of the 2,000 surveyed, 66% of shoppers said that their gift purchasing decisions were influenced by the sales, whilst 29% were encouraged to buy more than they were originally planning.

Andrew McClelland, Chief Operations & Policy Officer at IMRG, commented: “iPads and Kindles were among the most wished-for gifts this Christmas and their popularity as a means for accessing the web is booming. The phenomenal popularity of social media is also continuing to grow at a remarkable rate, with over double the amount of people logging onto them over Christmas Day and Boxing Day compared with 2010. Social networks and tablets need to be considered as a key part of any retailer’s marketing strategy, as the opportunities for consumer engagement through these channels are becoming very apparent.”

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