Friday, 2 January 2015

£441,000 per minute was spent online in the UK on Christmas Day 2014

"The traditional family Christmas took a back seat for many yesterday as millions of Britons spent a large chunk of the day online.
Bargain-hunters spent around £441,000 a minute to set a 'Clickmas' record, racking up an estimated £636million sales.
Up to 8 per cent of all adults hunted for bargains at some stage during the day. Many then cut short the family festivities to join the queues for the start of today's High Street sales.
Thousands queued through the night for Boxing Day bargains, with some shopping centres opening at 6am.
Bargain hunters spent an estimated £636million today, with around £441,000 being spent every minute
But that will not ease the rush for internet bargains. It is expected to be even busier online today, with spending predicted to hit £748million – or £515,000 per minute – 29 per cent up on Boxing Day last year.
Retail spending figures suggest millions have delayed buying their presents for friends and family they did not see over Christmas in the hope of finding big bargains.
Numbers visiting the High Street were down this month compared with last year. Even though retailers have slash prices by up to 90 per cent to shift stock, industry analysts fear Boxing Day could see the number of shoppers down by a third.
Retail expert Julie Palmer, of business recovery experts Begbies Traynor, said: 'After a period of subdued High Street spending in the run up to Christmas, retailers who have underperformed and missed their peak trading targets will be discounting heavily today in a bid to draw in the crowds and make up for lost ground.
'The High Street retailers should still expect queues this morning, albeit at lower levels than what we would usually expect, as after two days holed up with the family, there's nothing quite like a bit of retail therapy.
'Shoppers can expect to find the largest discounts at the fashion retailers as, after an unseasonably warm end to the year, most clothing outlets have more surplus winter fashion items in stock than you would normally expect.'
Experian Footfall says many who might have visited town centres today have already snapped up bargains from the comfort of their sofas as online sales began on Christmas Eve.
Britain spends more online per head than any other nation, including the US, with retail spending online for 2014 forecast to top £100billion for the first time. More than £1 in every £5 of retail spending – other than food – is now online.
Market research suggests that in some households online shopping has already become part of the festive tradition while families watch television and unwrap presents.
Gift cards that allow shoppers to choose their own presents online have driven the popularity of Christmas Day internet shopping. Amazon said business on its site has grown fivefold in the past five years and eBay reported its busiest ever Christmas Day.
The rise of e-readers and tablets has meant millions begin downloading books, music, films and TV box sets immediately after unwrapping Kindles and iPads. On Amazon, several deals sold out within hours, including a Rotary men's watch reduced from £450 to £74.99.
On eBay, a £6.99 'selfie stick' – an extending pole allowing smartphone users to take better pictures of themselves – had sold out by 2pm. The site also proved a popular way to sell unwanted gifts, with a handheld window-cleaning Hoover listed with the comment: 'Just did not want this present.'
eBay predicts that 2.7million users will sell unwanted gifts worth £819million on the site.
Millions will take to the High Street tomorrow to make the most of the traditional Boxing Day sales
Analysts IMRG and Experian predicted that 142 million people would visit online shopping websites throughout Christmas Day.
Marks and Spencer launched its sale with 50 per cent off a range of homeware, furniture and clothing.
Among the most discounted items is a £999 sofa reduced to £499 and kitchen sets. Amazon started offering discounts from 4pm, with traffic expected to peak shortly after 9pm tonight.
On eBay, sellers have slashed prices by up to 50 per cent, with savings also available on coveted gadgets such as a Playstation 4, reduced by £50 to £359.99.
The online auctioneer is also selling a range of Apple iPads for £329.99 - a discount of 17 per cent - and Phillips coffee machines for £50.
Half of consumers polled by Barclaycard in the run-up to Christmas said they would do some online shopping today.
Giles Longhurst, consumer insight general manager at Experian Marketing Services, said: 'The ease of shopping online via connected devices raises the prospect of a very large amount of shopping activity on Christmas Day itself.
'We expect a 25 per cent growth on last year in the number of site visits to 142 million as shoppers slip away from families to do some additional bargain hunting on the big day, with a corresponding spend of £636million.
Dominic Trigg, managing director for Europe of digital advertising technology company Rocket Fuel, said: 'Shopping online on Christmas Day is now a normal part of UK consumers' holiday experiences every year.
'This year spending on the day will increase 36% compared to 2013, taking it to an estimated £636 million.
'It is clear that UK consumers now see shopping from the comfort of their own home, following Christmas Day dinner, as much of a tradition as a turkey and ham dinner.'
John Lewis said last week's sales of £160.6 million, up 6.5 per cent on the previous week, confirmed its expectation that customers were choosing to leave their Christmas shopping until the last minute.
Source:  Daily Mail, 25th December 2014

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