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UK post-Christmas online sales grew strongly as shoppers stocked up at a discount, data suggests

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UK ecommerce sales were more than a quarter higher (+26%) in the week after Christmas than they were a year earlier, as shoppers headed online to buy in the sales, new data suggests. 

Shoppers took advantage of sale discounts in the closing week of the year, according to Wunderkind’s Marketing Pulse Index. It analysed more than 84,200 digital shopper journeys to find that traffic (+41%) was higher on Boxing Day 2022 compared to the same time last year, while sales on the day were 2.3% ahead year-on-year (YOY). That followed a week of higher online browsing (+32.9% YOY) in the run up to December 25. 

Over the course of the full week that started on Boxing Day and finished on January 1, traffic to UK retailers’ websites was 41% higher than in the same week in 2021, while digital sales were 26% ahead. 

Boxing Day online sales were higher than a year earlier, 19.2% ahead of Super Saturday (December 17) – when in-store shopping tends to peak in the run-up to Christmas – and 14.6% up on the previous week. But they lagged behind Black Friday 2022, when shoppers spent 143.6% more than they did on Boxing Day.

Wulfric Light-Wilkinson, general manager, international, at performance marketing channel Wunderkind, says: “Following some gloomy pre-Christmas forecasts and numerous warnings that the cost-of-living crisis would impact the critical Christmas trading period, digital retailers have reason to be cautiously optimistic after seeing the Boxing Day boost. This helped them close out Peak Trading 2022 with a stronger than anticipated performance. However, retailers certainly won’t be resting on their laurels.

“With reduced consumer spending power, brands are very aware that every conversion is getting harder to win.  With buying journeys lengthening amid increased spending caution, retailers will need to consider how they capture new shopper data to power longer term, more one-to-one engagement with their customers.”

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