- Cyber Monday (7th December) remained the biggest shopping day of the year, with the peak being £3 million being spent online in the UK in one hour between 13:00 and 14:00
- The average order placed online was up by 94% this Christmas, compared to the same period in 2008
- The number of goods that are purchased per transaction has also increased significantly, from 2.7 items in 2007 to 3.7 per order in 2009
- £132 million worth of purchases were made on Christmas Day, an increase of 29% on the previous year (eDigitalResearch)
All of the indications from these stats are that people’s shopping habits are changing. But is this shift a natural process, or are retailers being more savvy in their marketing and actively influencing shoppers’ behaviour in the direction of online?
I certainly noticed that the larger retailers were much more on the ball this time around. For the six weeks leading up to Christmas, I came to expect at least five email messages in my personal email inbox every day from retailers promoting online Christmas offers and products. (I would suspect that the free delivery over £X offers as promoted in such emails had an influence in raising the average order value. I was sucked into this on at least three occasions in the run up to Christmas!!)
I have blogged previously about Marks and Spencers and how their online marketing efforts and social media campaigns are setting the standards for other leading retailers. In the run up to Xmas, there was a further noticeable step up by Marks and Spencers and their contemporaries in terms of their social media usage –using Twitter and Facebook to keep customers informed about everything from their deals of the day, to last delivery dates and even updates on delivery delays due to snowy conditions.
And with the likes of @chiconomise and @fashionpixies aggregating all offers from UK retailers and directing traffic to online sales, we are being spoon fed all the info we need to make Christmas shopping online easy peasy.
There is little doubt that as the number of mainstream stores offering online shopping has grown, people in the UK are becoming more used to researching and completing online purchases. The ‘fear factor’ has diminished significantly and the demographic of people making online purchases has undoubtedly broadened; and so long as retailers continue to do the right things and target their customers effectively via a variety of channels, all indications are that the online shopping bug will only continue to take a further hold.
And what with all the snow and ice, freezing cold temperatures, and queues snaking around the aisles, there is certainly a lot to be said for Christmas shopping from your sofa…