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Online shopping set to dominate during festive season

10 November 2017 - 10:17 by Graham Miller

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A new study from Deloitte suggests that consumers across North America and Europe will be turning to safe shopping online in greater numbers than ever in the run-up to Christmas 2017, with smartphones and tablets being especially instrumental in driving this trend.

Forty per cent of respondents said that retailers which offer well-designed mobile apps will be more likely to win them over. Two thirds said that they intended to head to a real world store to get firsthand experience of a product before committing to a purchase.

Thirty two per cent said that they expect to encounter some kind of in-store technology to make the high street experience more in sync with safe shopping online. This includes things like touch screen displays and even virtual reality.

Millennials are more likely to be influenced by social media than older generations of consumers, with 55 per cent in this age group stating that they would head to a retailer’s site if they encountered a link on a networking platform they frequent.

Amazon is singled out as being an especially potent player in the retail sector this festive season, largely as a result of the fact that it offers a diverse array of products and offers through its marketplace service. Forty per cent of those questioned said that they would be using this site for the majority of their pre-Christmas orders.

eBay is also maintaining a decent share of the market, with 45 per cent of consumers saying they intend to purchase items from it over the next few weeks.

Retailers with loyalty programmes can expect to see consumers taking advantage of discounts and offers, both online and in-store, so long as the perceived value on offer is significant enough to convince people to stick around.