Light items such as books and DVDs will largely be purchased online
This holiday season—defined as November and December—43% of UK web users planned to do most or all of their shopping online, according to a September 2013 survey from media buying firm Kinetic. That will put the number of consumers shopping on digital this season ahead of high street and shopping malls, where 27% and 22% of web users, respectively, planned to do the bulk of their shopping. Of course, putting these two offline categories together, in-store still trumps online, but just barely.
Additionally, it is becoming more and more unusual for shoppers to do none of their shopping online. Only 10% of respondents said they would stay away from digital purchasing altogether.
What’s the appeal of digital shopping for the holidays? At a time when crowds and heavy spending can turn even the most spirited holiday reveler into a scrooge, online shopping affords convenience and low prices, first and foremost. In the survey, nearly seven out of 10 respondents said they planned to purchase Christmas presents online because it meant they could shop at any time of day. This response was followed closely by being able to get the cheapest prices online and the overall online purchasing process being quicker.
Well below these responses was the greater variety of items offered online as an incentive for shopping digitally, cited by 41% of web users. It seems that having more options is not top of mind for UK holiday shoppers. Getting in and getting out—virtually speaking—with limited damage to one’s purse strings, is.
Light items, including CDs/DVDs and books, were the leading purchases more than half of UK consumers expected to buy online, and these were also the items likeliest to be purchased for the holidays. The toys and games category and electornics also ranked high in terms of the percentage who would buy these gifts online, though in-store was still a slightly more common place to make such purchases.
The clothing and footwear category, which ranked third in terms of total respondents who planned to buy such gifts for the holidays, still lagged somewhat when it came to shoppers making that purchase online: Only 30% expected to buy such goods via the web, indicating that consumers still prefer to touch and feel clothing items, and that retailers may still have some work to do if they want to shift more of these clothing sales online.
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