Close this search box.

UK shoppers to spend £1.3bn online over Christmas Day and Boxing Day

This is an archived article - we have removed images and other assets but have left the text unchanged for your reference

Shoppers will spend a frenetic £441,000 a minute online on Christmas Day, upping the pace to £519,000 a minute on Boxing Day, a forecast from etail trade association IMRG suggests.

In all, predict the IMRG and Experian, Christmas Day visitors will spend an estimated £636m over 142m retail site visits over the course of the day. On Boxing Day, shoppers will spend £748m during 167m site visits. In all, that adds up to a spend of £1.3bn over the two days.

“Over recent years Boxing Day has typically been the busiest online shopping day of the year as consumers log on in search of a bargain from the comfort of their sofas,” said Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG. “However, the festive sales started early this year with Black Friday discounts and promotions attracting a record number of online shoppers in the UK. Although we expect Boxing Day to be even bigger than last year, with online spend up around 40% year-on-year, it is unlikely to eclipse the unprecedented level of sales on Black Friday when e-retail sales reached a staggering £810 million.

“A recent survey of IMRG’s members found that 70% of e-retailers offered discounts and promotions over Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend and we are likely to see a higher number launching sales over Christmas and Boxing Day, with some going into sale as soon as their high street shops close their doors on Christmas Eve.”

Giles Longhurst, general manager consumer insight at Experian Marketing Services, said: “This year has seen record-breaking online shopping rates, particularly on Black Friday, which saw an astronomical £810m in estimated spend due to the massive resources put behind promotions by a wide range of retailers. Traditionally, the Boxing Day sales have been the busiest day for retailers in the UK, but this year we expect them to come second to Black Friday, with a spend of £748 million and 167 million retail site visits predicted, an increase of 29 per cent on last year.

“The ease of shopping online via connected devices also raises the prospect of a very large amount of shopping activity on Christmas Day itself. We expect a 25 per cent growth on last year in the number of site visits to 142m as shoppers slip away from families to do some additional bargain hunting on the big day, with a corresponding spend of £636m.

“Retailers need to be increasingly switched on to fact that shopping is changing. Firstly, consumers are happy to leave online shopping later in the festive season, with a growth of 24 per cent to 149m visits to retail sites on Manic Monday – the 8th December – and also a big 38 per cent jump on December 15 to 146 million visits as they push pre-Christmas delivery services to the limit. Secondly, online shopping is now a leisure activity for customers, with many enjoying browsing and hunting for deals when they have a few minutes. This is where the importance of accurate cross-channel communications can really come in to play, letting customers know about promotions and offers and really cutting through the noise to drive interest and traffic.”

Meanwhile, a Centre for Retail Research study, commissioned by owner RetailMeNot, estimates Boxing Day shoppers will spend more than £2.9bn over the course of the day, £75m more than in 2013.

“Despite concerns from some retailers that bumper spending on Black Friday could take the edge off further seasonal sales, our research suggests that pre-Crhistmas discounting hasn’t taken the stuffing out of the Boxing Day sales,” said Giulio Montemagno,senior vice president of international at RetailMeNot. “In fact, spending is set to rise to nearly £3bn this year, which is the second highest spend in Europe.

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on