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Consumers set to shop in the sales from the comfort of their own home this Christmas

Tue Dec 25 19:01:00 EST 2018

  • Four in ten Brits plan to shop in the festive sales, spending an average of £188 each
  • Men are set to be the biggest spenders – shelling out 50 per cent more than women
  • A third of those who intend to shop online in the sales plan to use their smartphone or tablet to make a purchase
  • Reviewing last year’s Boxing Day figures, Barclaycard data shows that spending rose 10.7 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016 

Consumers are set to spend £3.9 billion* in the festive sales, with online purchases accounting for the majority of sales, as shoppers seek a more convenient and relaxed experience.

According to the research from Barclaycard**, which processes nearly half of all credit and debit card transactions in the UK, four in ten UK adults (40 per cent) plan to shop in the sales over the Christmas period, anticipating that they will spend an average of £188 each.

Interestingly, it’s men who are set to be the biggest spenders, with the findings showing they expect to shell-out 50 per cent more than women (£227 on average compared to £151).

Looking back at last year’s figures for Boxing Day, Barclaycard data shows that spending was up – rising 10.7 per cent in 2017 from 2016***.  Research also reaffirms Boxing Day as the most popular day to shop during the Christmas sales period, with three in ten Brits (30 per cent) planning to hit the sales on the 26th, down slightly from 34 per cent in 2017.

However, a growing number of consumers are planning to start their sales shopping earlier than last year. Almost three in ten (28 per cent) plan to shop on Christmas Eve and 17 per cent on Christmas Day, with both figures higher than predictions made by consumers ahead of last year’s festive sales period (26 per cent and 15 per cent respectively) ****.

Spending online outpaces the high-street

More than four in five (82 per cent) of those who plan to shop in the sales will do some shopping online, with 69 per cent saying they will make the majority of their purchases online – up from 42 per cent in 2017. What’s more, nearly a third (32 per cent) of those who intend to shop online plan to use their smartphone or tablet to make a purchase.

Consumers say that this shift towards online shopping over the Christmas period is down to the more relaxed and convenient experience that it offers. One in three online shoppers (33 per cent) say they want to avoid the queues and crowds on the high street, and a quarter (24 per cent) claim they simply don’t have the patience to hunt through sales racks in-store.

That said, customer experience will be key to attracting online shoppers over the Christmas period, as 62 per cent of Brits will only purchase sales items online if they are offered free delivery and returns.

Christmas Day shopping

It seems the desire to seek out a bargain in the sales over the Christmas period remains strong as nearly one in five Brits (17 per cent) say they will take a break from their festive celebrations to browse the sales online on Christmas Day itself. Furthermore, one in ten (10 per cent) say they’ll be shopping online while their family are opening presents.

Of those planning to shop on Christmas Day, three in ten (29 per cent) say this is because the sales are starting earlier than ever before, and they don’t want to miss out. Meanwhile, a quarter (25 per cent) will browse online on Christmas Day to decide what they want to purchase in the Boxing Day sales.

Konrad Kelling, Managing Director of Customer Solutions at Barclaycard, said:

“Boxing Day remains the most popular day to shop for bargains over the Christmas period. However, this year the majority of consumers plan to shop online from the comfort and convenience of their own home rather than braving the winter weather and crowds on the high street.

“Whilst most plan to spend Boxing Day with friends and family, Brits also don’t want to miss out on the best deals to be had. Surprisingly, men plan to spend more than women in the sales this year – whether that be staying up late to buy that must-have item or even browsing online during the family festivities!”

Notes to Editors

For more information please contact Rebecca Butler on +44 (0) 207 116 1993 or Rebecca.Butler@barclaycard.co.uk

*3.9 billion calculated as 40% of the UK adult population (52,079,000) x average spend (£187.50) = £3,920,535,692

** Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,005 UK adults aged 18+ from 7 to 11 December 2018. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

*** Figures based on Barclaycard Merchant Transactions from 26th December 2016 and 26th December 2017.

**** Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,000 UK adults aged 18+ from 12th to 14th of December 2017. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

About Barclaycard

Barclaycard, part of Barclays Bank PLC, is a leading global payment business that helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and take payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit and point-of-sale finance. In 2017 we processed over £250bn in transactions globally. Barclaycard is a pioneer of new forms of payment and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting-edge forms of payment for the future. We also partner with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit.

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