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Online Spending Over Christmas Period Nears £100 billion

24 January 2020 - 11:32 by Graham Miller

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A new report from eMarketer suggests that Brits spent close to £100 billion via safe shopping online over the course of the festive shopping period, according to Mobile Marketing Magazine.

This means that just over 28 per cent of all retail sales were carried out online, showing that the web is continuing to encroach on a market that has traditionally been dominated by bricks and mortar stores.

The good news for the industry as a whole is that this particular report forecasts small but not insignificant growth in retail spending in the UK over the course of the coming year, with a 1.2 per cent rise overall anticipated. This is in spite of the economic uncertainty which still pervades.

Study spokesperson Monica Peart said that the rise in e-commerce activity was leading to store closures, although she also suggested that in some areas people were being forced to turn to online shopping as a direct result of real-world outlets being shut down by retailers.

She also said that 2020 will be a tricky year for businesses of all kinds to navigate, since consumer confidence remains weak in the run-up to the latest Brexit deadline. Even after this passes and the UK leaves the EU, which seems inevitable at this point, the future of the nation will still hang in the balance and shoppers may be reluctant to start spending significant sums again in the immediate aftermath.

Another prediction made in the report is that mobile shopping will become even more influential this year, accounting for half of all e-commerce sales and proving that consumers are now more confident in using smartphones and tablets to make purchase, not just as a means of carrying out research. Smartphones will still outpace tablets by quite a margin, with £58 billion in spending passing through handsets alone.