Digital a Big Part of the Christmas Retail Cake in the UK - eMarketer

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Digital a Big Part of the Christmas Retail Cake in the UK

Holidays are coming, and so are digital buyers

November 19, 2014

eMarketer expects retail ecommerce to account for 15.1% of total retail sales during the 2014 holiday season in the UK, according to its recent report, "UK Holiday Shopping Preview: A Merry Season Forecast for Ecommerce." This will represent the largest proportion ever and put other digitally advanced nations in the shade—the equivalent share in the US, for example, will stand at just 8.4% in 2014.

UK Retail Ecommerce Holiday Season Sales Share, 2012-2014 (% of total retail holiday season sales)

The Christmas shopping period marks a particular spike in digital shopping behavior among UK consumers, and this spike is becoming more marked. So, holiday season retail ecommerce accounting for 15.1% of total UK holiday season sales in 2014 will represent a 1.9-percentage-point rise from 2013. Ecommerce's share of full-year 2014 UK total retail sales, while still impressive at 13.0%, will fall short of the holiday season mark, in both real terms and growth, representing a smaller 1.4-percentage-point rise from 2013.

UK Total Retail and Retail Ecommerce* Sales, 2013-2018 (billions of £ and % change)

Advanced mobile commerce behavior is likely to fuel a great deal of UK digital spending growth during the holiday season—mcommerce will account for 27.0% of total retail ecommerce sales in 2014, for example, up from 19.0% last year. However, other stimuli will also be at play, from the rising influence of "click-and-collect" order placement and pickup to the burgeoning popularity in the UK of US-import shopping opportunities like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The Christmas campaigns are off to a strong start. Retail ecommerce is set for a strong holiday season, too.

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