Research finds more people shopping online this year than ever this Christmas

  • Survey of 2,000 consumers reveals shift in consumer behaviour with 48% buying the majority of their goods online this year, up from 40% in 2019
  • Most significant rise seen amongst the oldest and youngest age groups: 18-24s will do 42% of their shopping online (34% in 2019) and 41% of 65+ (33% in 2019). 
  • 51% are shopping earlier than normal with 40% reporting concerns about shortages impacting Christmas plans 
  • Average spend over Christmas is predicted to be £555 per person. 

Extensive research by Thrasio, the acquirer of Amazon businesses, into consumer behaviour and spending patterns has revealed that more people than ever are choosing to shop online this Christmas, across all demographics. 

A survey of 2,000 UK consumers revealed 48% of Christmas goods will be bought online this year with the biggest rises seen in the oldest and youngest age groups: 18-24s will do 42% of their shopping online (34% in 2019) and 41% of 65+ (33% in 2019). 35-44 year olds lead the way with 51% (46% in 2019). When the figures are broken down further it reveals that 49% will do more than half their shopping online – up from 40% during the last lockdown-free Christmas in 2019. 16% of this group intend to buy at least three quarters of all their Christmas products online. 

The research also suggests that supply chain disruption is leading to consumers speeding up their Christmas purchasing plans. 56% said they would have completed their shopping by the end of Black Friday – with 51% saying that this is much earlier than usual due to fears they have over potential shortages. 54% of Londoners said they were concerned versus 30% of residents of Yorkshire and Humberside and 33% of those living in the North East of England. 

Christmas 2021 is likely to be a high-spending affair with nearly a quarter of respondents stating they will spend much more on presents and celebrations than usual. This compares to only 16% who say they will spend less. 43% of 18-24s and 32% of 25-34 reported that they plan to spend much more compared to 2020. Londoners lead the way with 40% saying they will spend more compared to only 11% of Yorkshire and Humberside residents. The biggest spenders are set to be in Northern Ireland with £765 per person, Wales at £671 and London at £598. East Anglicans plan to spend the least at £480. 

Jim Mann, Director of UK Acquisitions at Thrasio, said: “All the indications are that online sales in the lead up to the festive period will be the biggest on record. Supply chain issues coupled with the growth in ecommerce and a bounce back in spending from last Christmas’s damp squib mean that consumers plan to spend more, spend it earlier and spend it online. 

“Our research has produced a lot of interesting details. For example, online purchasing will have risen 10% in two years. It shows that half the population will buy nearly half of all their goods online – a profound shift in consumer behaviour. Crucially, the growth is across all demographics and regions. As younger people have recorded the biggest growth this is likely to be a permanent change.”

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