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Festive e-commerce sales increase anticipated

25 November 2013 - 13:42 by Graham Miller

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A new survey, conducted by Santander, has found that Britons will be spending more online in anticipation of Christmas 2013 than ever before, with e-commerce sales likely to be at least 12 per cent higher this year than last.

A third of all purchases will be made online during the festive season, according to the report, which will actually allow e-commerce sites to outdo standalone high street stores for the first time.

This is because about a fifth of sales are expected to be attributed to individual retailers, with 13 per cent occurring at department stores. This means that the bricks and mortar market, when taken as a whole, is still ahead of the online world, even if the gap is closing fast.

Supermarkets will be big winners, both online and off, with 29 per cent of consumer spending expected to be channelled through their outlets this Christmas, according to the Daily Mail.

An average of £175 will be spent on presents by British consumers this year, with a total of £96 being spent on Christmas Dinner and the other food and drink that will be consumed over the winter celebrations.

Twenty seven per cent of respondents to the study said that they would only need to use safe shopping online to check out products before committing to a purchase, while 30 per cent said that they would prefer to see items in person at a high street outlet before using an e-commerce site to complete the transaction.

This indicates that showrooming will be a popular practice in November and December, so even if the high street seems to be packed with shoppers, many of them will simply be browsing for gifts, before accessing them more affordably on the web at a later date.