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Early online sales encourage high street retreat

24 December 2013 - 09:26 by Sarah Collinson

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Consumers are being enticed away from high street outlets because e-commerce retailers are kick starting a phase of sales via safe shopping online earlier than anticipated, according to the Daily Mail.

Amazon, in particular, is being singled out as jumping the gun and getting its deals and offers online before anyone else, with discounts of up to 40 per cent available on some products.

While the final shopping days of the season are typically the busiest for the high street, as people head out to pick up last minute gifts that would not arrive in time if ordered online, it seems that crowds are a little less common on the high street as a result of e-commerce wrangling.

Amazon is anticipating that its sales on Christmas Day will be higher than at any other point during the year, with 8.32pm identified as the peak period for shopping online, because this is when people will be sitting down in front of the TV to watch one of the many major shows and movies that are airing for families.

The act of watching TV at the same time as shopping online is only possible thanks to the vast number of smartphones and tablets which are now available in many British households. And while it might suggest that people are becoming less engaged with what they are actually watching, it is undeniably beneficial for e-commerce sales.

John Lewis announced that its own online outlet is anticipated to handle a big chunk of traffic on December 25th, with up to a million visitors browsing from a portable gadget.

This indicates that the high street firms which also embrace online shopping are going to be in a strong position when it comes to capturing sales this year.

That is not to say that pure-play outlets like Amazon do not have an equally strong chance of succeeding, but that rather a multichannel platform may well prove most effective.