An estimated £636m – or £441,000 per minute – will be spent on Christmas Day, and 142 million retail sites will be visited: a 25% increase on 2013. On Boxing Day, £748m – or £519,000 per minute – will be spent and 167 million retail sites visited: a 29% increase year-on-year.
That’s the verdict of IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group), which is the UK’s industry association for e-retail and Experian, which is a leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said: “Over recent years, Boxing Day has typically been the busiest online shopping day of the year as consumers log on in search of a bargain from the comfort of their sofas. However, the festive sales started early this year with Black Friday discounts and promotions attracting a record number of online shoppers in the UK. Although we expect Boxing Day to be even bigger than last year, it’s unlikely to eclipse the unprecedented level of sales on Black Friday when e-retail sales reached a staggering £810 million.
A recent survey of IMRG’s members found that 70% of e-retailers offered discounts and promotions over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend and, Tina Spooner noted, “we’re likely to see a higher number launching sales over Christmas and Boxing Day, with some going into sale as soon as their Hgh Street shops close their doors on Christmas Eve.”
Giles Longhurst, general manager consumer insight at Experian Marketing Services, commented: “This year has seen record breaking online shopping rates, particularly on Black Friday, which saw an astronomical £810 million in estimated spend due to the massive resources put behind promotions by a wide range of retailers. Traditionally, the Boxing Day sales have been the busiest day for retailers in the UK, but this year we expect them to come second to Black Friday, with a spend of £748 million and 167 million retail site visits predicted: an increase of 29% on last year.
“The ease of shopping online via connected devices also raises the prospect of a very large amount of shopping activity on Christmas Day itself. We expect a 25% growth on last year in the number of site visits to 142 million, as shoppers slip away from families to do some additional bargain hunting on the Big Day – with a corresponding spend of £636 million.
“Retailers need to be increasingly switched on to fact that shopping is changing. Firstly, consumers are happy to leave online shopping later in the festive season, with a growth of 24% to 149 million visits to retail sites on Manic Monday (December 8) and a big 38% jump on December 15 to 146 million visits, as they pushed pre-Christmas delivery services to the limit.
“Secondly, online shopping is now a leisure activity for customers, with many enjoying browsing and hunting for deals when they have a few minutes. This is where the importance of accurate cross-channel communications can really come in to play, letting customers know about promotions and offers and really cutting through the noise to drive interest and traffic.”