Business Technology

More than 50% of Christmas spend will be online this year

2 min read

25 November 2013

More than half of the £18bn spent by UK consumers during the Christmas period will be spend online.

This Christmas, 56 per cent of consumers will spend more than half of their budget online, meaning that £10bn will be up for grabs for online retailers.

The average individual budget for Christmas presents and related festive season items is £375 this year, creating a total UK Christmas budget pot of just over £18bn.

It will be the first time ever that more than half of Christmas spend will be online. Yet while it may be more convenient to shop online, there are still significant frustrations for many shoppers.

Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of shoppers say they were disappointed with an element of their online shopping last year, according to a new study by cloud company Rackspace Hosting.

The most annoying issue for online shoppers is complicated check out procedures (33 per cent) and websites that are slow to load (28 per cent). These frustrations led to 48 per cent abandoning their purchase, and 34 per cent trying a different website.

Generally, women tend to be more intolerant of slow websites than men (23 per cent female as opposed to 17 per cent male) and as a result are more likely to abandon the purchase as a result (52 per cent female, 42 per cent male).

“It’s clear from our findings that UK consumers are increasingly going online to shop and with the competition high for that £10bn, online retailers can’t afford to lose custom due to frustrations caused by slow websites or check-outs,” says Jeff Cotten, MD at Rackspace. 

“People will be relying on being connected over the holiday period and businesses need to ensure their websites have the support structures in place to cope with the surges of traffic and festive demand.”

When it comes to methods of shopping, one fifth (21 per cent) of UK adults will shop online using a tablet (up from 12 per cent from 2012), while Christmas shopping on smartphones is also up 5 per cent to 16 per cent.