Digital and In-Store Shopping Habits Pivot on Boxing Day in the UK - eMarketer

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Digital and In-Store Shopping Habits Pivot on Boxing Day in the UK

UK retail shopper habits differ either side of Boxing Day

December 2, 2015

Up until Boxing Day, internet users in the UK are more likely to shop online. After that point, shopping becomes an altogether more physical affair, albeit with a digital undertone.

UK Internet Users Who Plan to Shop In-Store vs. Digitally During Select Holidays, by Age, Sep 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

According to September 2015 research by RadiumOne, UK internet users are more likely to shop digitally than in-store on key Christmas season shopping days—Cyber Monday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. While this might be expected among digitally-savvy millennials, it’s also very much the case for those ages 35 and older. For example, the study found that 24% of UK internet users between the ages of 35 and 54 planned to shop online on Cyber Monday vs. just 5% who said they would shop in-store on the same day.

While this may not seem out-of-the-ordinary for what is essentially a digital shopping day, the balance was similar for Christmas Day and Boxing Day. However, once all the turkey and Christmas pudding has been fully digested, these same consumers plan to alter their shopping habits. Between Boxing Day and the New Year, 40% of 16- to 34-year-olds and 34% of 35- to 54-year-olds planned to shop in-store. During that same period, proportionally less planned to shop digitally—38% and 27%, respectively. The pattern was the same for January sales.

UK Holiday Retail Ecommerce Sales, by Shopping Period, 2014 & 2015 (millions of £ and % change)

Whenever and wherever UK consumers choose to shop this holiday season, the growing influence of digital is plain to see. October 2015 research from Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) and Experian as cited by Drapers indicated that retail ecommerce sales growth would be marked across all notable days in the festive calendar—up 32% on Black Friday and 31% on Cyber Monday, for example. Before or after Boxing Day, it seems there’s always space for a bit of digital retail therapy.

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