Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Holiday Shopping Online Gains Momentum in the UK

Thirty-five percent of UK consumers will make more online purchases via their smartphones this upcoming holiday season, according to the latest market study by eDigitalResearch and IMRG, as the popularity of shopping and browsing on mobile devices continues to increase.

The latest results show that 61 percent of the 6,000 people surveyed will browse more frequently via their phone over the next 12 months, with just under half (49%) of these making a purchase from their smartphone as well.

Derek Eccleston, Research Director at eDigitalResearch explains, “Christmas is by far the most important time for retailers. This year will be one of the first Christmas shopping periods where mobile shopping will be readily available to the majority of consumers. The rapid development in mobile technology and the quick uptake by retailers of mobile sites and retail apps means that more and more brands have the opportunity to connect with potential customers, encourage purchases and increase revenues."

The results also found that more and more consumers will be relying on the internet this year for their Christmas shopping, despite the snow and disrupted deliveries that affected online orders in 2010. And, 19 percent of those surveyed will be doing more Christmas shopping online this year.

One third (33%) of consumers said that they will be spending at least half of their holiday season budget online, while 1 in 4 (25%) will do up to three quarters of their shopping on the internet.

The results also indicate that price will be the main influencing factor for consumers this Christmas period. A full 46 percent of people claim that better prices are the main reason encouraging them to shop online rather than through other channels, an increase of 5 percent on last year’s results.

Similarly, almost half (45%) of consumers are somewhat reliant on the internet to stretch their budgets, whilst 17 percent of shoppers are very reliant.

Over half of those surveyed (54%) will be commencing their shopping earlier this year in an attempt to spread the cost, signalling the importance for retailers to begin implementing their holiday season promotions early enough in time to catch the majority of Christmas shoppers.

Almost half (48%) also said that they can often be influenced by a retailer’s deals and promotions, indicating for retailers the importance of understanding key influencers for their customer base.

However, the eCSI results did reveal that 50 percent of consumers strongly prefer to purchase their groceries in-store -- with just 10 percent strongly preferring to do so online. This is far higher than any other category and reveals that consumers are missing out on potential savings, particularly during the Christmas period -- as food is a major area of expenditure.