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Brits spend 11.5 per cent more online in December

11 January 2018 - 21:58 by Graham Miller

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Last month saw safe shopping online increase by 11.5 per cent, according to the latest figures published by MasterCard. This compares with a modest 2.2 per cent uptick in spending across the entire retail market in the UK over the same period.

Analysts also blamed a fall in bricks and mortar visits over the post-Christmas sales period on the fact that most consumers have started taking advantage of Black Friday to get hold of bargains, rather than waiting until Boxing Day as in the past.

When divided among different product categories, the study found that people spent 10.7 per cent more on groceries via safe shopping online in December of 2017 than they did a year earlier. This increase was even more pronounced in the clothing segment, with a 13.7 per cent rise in sales recorded.

Interestingly, there was actually a slight slump in clothing sales across all platforms, which suggests that even the impressive e-commerce performance was not enough to overcome the lack of activity on the high street.

Report spokesperson, Scott Abrahams, said that last year there was a four per cent rise in retail sales in the UK, with the usually buoyant festive shopping period proving to be surprisingly tough for retailers.

He argued that the outlets which are best positioned to take advantage of the current market conditions are those which not only have a solid bricks and mortar presence, but also cater to customers who want to order online, whether for home delivery or click and collect services.

Experts anticipate that 2018 will be another year of growth for online outlets, but the resilience of the high street will very much depend on levels of consumer confidence and the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, which are ongoing.