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The shape of Christmas future: Over half of Brits will up online spending for Xmas 2009

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Increased satisfaction and rising ecommerce uptake from older demographics are driving online growth, the third annual Logan Tod Online Shopping Index has revealed.

For Christmas 2009, 53% of UK adults intend to increase their online purchasing, the researchers have found, and consumers will spend more with internet retailers who demonstrate better availability of product, effective search tools and smarter delivery options.

“With 53% of those surveyed intending to increase online purchases for Christmas ’09, online retailers can look to a sustained growth level as consumers continue to adopt the habit of online shopping,” says chief executive Matthew Tod. “The main challenge for online store managers during Christmas 2009 is therefore going to be maintaining average order values in the face of lower prices and greater competition.”

The 2009 Logan Tod Online Shopping Index has highlighted those attributes which lead to an increase in Christmas sales. Retailers who had previously met consumer expectations benefited over the Christmas period, with online being no different. 70% of UK adults cited previous good experience as a key factor in which sites they visited.

Once arrived at an online retailer, consumers listed in order of importance for buying: product availability information (71%), effective search tools (70%) and smarter delivery options (70%). In terms of delivery, the research highlighted that people are happy to wait for delivery if it comes at a discounted price.

The wider use of search engines has been the key to driving traffic to sites. While social media was not a prominent driver this year, it did have a larger effect amongst younger audiences.

Last year’s Index predicted that those in the 45-54+ age bracket signified the biggest opportunity for online retailers. This demographic has now become even more comfortable with online shopping and they represent the best growth sector as over 60% of respondents from this group indicate they will buy more online this coming Christmas.

“Based on the results of the 2009 Logan Tod Online Shopping Index,” says Tod, “we can be sure consumers will buy more through the internet, but they are going to be shopping around more than ever before and demand better service. Intelligent retailers will be those who improve the overall customer experience, and who focus on the high growth demographics”.

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