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Boxing Day slump predicted for UK online shopping

21 December 2011 - 09:15 by Graham Miller

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Last year the UK experienced one of its busiest shopping periods of the year in the days following December 25th, when millions went online to take advantage of sales which are kick started after the main event of Christmas has passed.

However, a new poll commissioned by YouGov, suggests that the Boxing Day sales period, lasting from the 26th until the 31st of December, will actually be less commercially successful for retailers than usual.

Twenty-nine per cent of those questioned during a survey conducted in 2010, said that they would be carrying out safe shopping online during Boxing Week, while just 12 per cent of respondents asserted the same plans in the most recent 2011 study.

The January Sales, which some major firms have already initiated prior to Christmas Day 2011, are also going to take a bit of a hit, with only 11 per cent of people saying that they would be using e-commerce sites to bag bargains in the new year.

While the high street has been taking a bit of a beating at the hands of safe shopping online, it seems that even major discounts made by e-commerce firms will not be enough to coax people out of their post-Christmas stupors to spend some cash on the web.

Traditionally, the Boxing Day surge makes December 26th the second busiest day for e-commerce of the year, after Cyber Monday. While this may still be true in 2011, when about £368 million is likely to be spent, the downturn compared with previous years could be a source of concern for retailers.

Competition and falling sales figures are causing most companies to entirely rethink their sales strategies, putting more effort into aggressively marketing offers and deals before Christmas, rather than making major cuts afterwards.