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Customer Behaviour

UK online shoppers spend on average almost £300 (£292) purchasing goods online at Christmas*, according to research commissioned by Royal Mail. Almost a third of online shoppers (30 per cent) start making their Christmas purchases during or before October. However, the majority of online shopping for Christmas takes place between 15th November and 13th December.

The research also revealed that men spend on average £304 online shopping at Christmas, compared to women who spend £271 each. Two in five online shoppers spent more in 2017 than 2016.

Online shoppers’ most popular purchases are clothes (54 per cent), books (46 per cent), CDs/DVDs/computer games (42 per cent), toiletries/make-up (32 per cent) and toys (31 per cent). The average gift costs £42 and the average number of gifts purchased online at Christmas per person is seven.

The main reasons people choose to shop online at Christmas are convenience-related: being able to shop from the comfort of their home (68 per cent), the ability to shop any time of the day (63 per cent) and the ease of comparing prices (48 per cent). The device of choice for shopping is laptops (59 per cent) followed by smartphones (34 per cent).

A spokesperson for Royal Mail said “It’s the most wonderful time of the year but buying Christmas presents can be a stressful experience. With the convenience that online shopping provides, we are seeing more and more people make purchases online during the festive season. At Royal Mail, we’re here to help consumers and businesses prepare for Christmas wherever they are in the UK.”

The research was independently conducted by Trinity McQueen and based on a representative sample of 1,500 UK online Christmas shoppers.

Key points again:

  • Almost a third of online shoppers start making Christmas purchases during or before October
  • Majority of online shopping is done between 15th November and 13th December
  • Men spend on average £304, compared to women’s spend of £271
  • Two in five online shoppers spent more in 2017 than 2016
  • Most popular purchases are clothes (54 per cent), books (46 per cent), CDs/DVDs/computer games (42 per cent), toiletries/make-up (32 per cent) and toys (31 per cent)
  • The average gift costs £42 and the average number of gifts purchased online at Christmas is seven
  • Home comforts, ability to shop any time of the day and ease of comparing prices is why people shop online at Christmas

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