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E-commerce takes advantage over in-store shopping at Christmas

24 September 2013 - 10:14 by Simon Crisp

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A new report has found that British consumers believe that the experience of safe shopping online really comes into its own during the festive season, while high street outlets become less and less attractive during the same period.

The study, carried out by IMRG, revealed that a quarter of the 2000 people questioned believed online shopping was significantly better for Christmas shopping. This is thanks to the deals that are offered, as well as the sheer diversity of products that are on offer.

Meanwhile, only seven per cent of respondents said that e-commerce users get the short end of the stick in the run up to December 25th and 42 percent said that bricks and mortar retail is a nightmare as a result of queues, store congestion and the lack of shop workers available to meet their needs.

The popularity of shopping online amongst UK consumers is apparent in the study, since 96 per cent said that they would be buying at least some of their presents via the web in 2013.

Forty eight percent said that they would make a minimum of half their festive purchases online, while other trends likely to come through this year include a rise in smartphone usage for gift purchasing.

IMRG spokesperson, Andy Mulcahy, said that m-commerce growth was no surprise to analysts, since the past few years have seen steep increases in the number of Brits who own smartphones and tablets.

Almost a quarter of all online sales in the second quarter of 2013 were generated through portable devices and this figure could rise even further in the final months of the year, as people get ready for their annual Christmas blow-out.

Quite what this will mean for the high street remains to be seen, but there is a sense that, at best, sales will remain stagnant.