The Christmas period is an exciting time of year all-round – an opportunity to catch up with friends and family both new and old, as well as an opportunity to show your appreciation to them in the giving of thoughtful gifts. But with dramatic advances in e-commerce, and the advent of a new coronavirus variant, Christmas shopping habits may be set to change. The high street could well be emptying in favour of the ‘online Christmas shop’. How many people will switch to the online shop this year, and why?
Online Shopping Statistics This Christmas
A recent report stated that a prospective 31% of polled UK consumers had intentions to complete their Christmas shop without setting foot in a retail store, instead ordering every gift via online platforms. The report recognised an uptick in online shopping intentions in comparison to the festive period in 2020, where only 7% of people intended to shop completely online. There are various reasons this may have been the case; for example, shoppers in 2020 may have been set on visiting the high street to compensate for a year largely spent in lockdown. It is also the case that Generation Z and Millennials are leading the charge for the online shape, as the self-same report showed that over two thirds of 18-24s were incorporating online shopping into their Christmas plans.
The Wider Market
The boom in online Christmas shopping in 2021 comes alongside a wider boom in use of e-commerce platforms to procure goods. Amazon has been a fact of life for decades, but an explosion in alternative online platforms, whether online markets for independent sellers to use or proprietary online shops for retail brands, have resulted in a diverse online shopping experience. According to another recent report, 2.14 billion people – or more than a quarter of the global population – have purchased products online. Crucially, that number has nearly doubled in comparison to 2020, with 900 million more buyers appearing in 2021.
The Benefits of Shopping Online This Christmas
The newfound ubiquity of online shopping around the world has its reasons – and shopping exclusively online for Christmas gifts has its benefits. For starters, you as a consumer are more in control of your spending habits. If you’re on the look-out for women’s thermals, you are less likely to get side-tracked by an unrelated product – but more likely to be shown other products you may also be interested in while you shop. Also, many brands capitalise on the increased audience they can find in online spaces, offering exclusive discounts to online users. Lastly, the increased prevalence of a new coronavirus variant makes shopping outdoors potentially dangerous – meaning shopping online could well be beneficial to your health.