UK shoppers spent £5.3bn online in November

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British shoppers spent £5.3 billion in November, yet seasonal trends show that consumers are still holding out for further sales and price cuts in the run up to Christmas, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

The research also revealed that sales are up 25 per cent on October, and up 11 per cent compared to November 2008.

However, despite sales increasing ahead of the festive season, year-on-year growth has slowed in 2009, in line with the online retail industry maturing.

Many consumers have chosen to delay their Christmas shopping this year as the past two years have seen retailers putting in place seasonal price cuts and promotions in December rather than January, meaning many have delayed their Christmas shopping this year.

The index also discovered that shoppers are allowing shorter delivery windows than usual, as Christmas falls on a Friday this year, which it says indicates increased confidence in retailers’ ability to deliver on time.

Typically the first week in December is the busiest peak week for Christmas shopping online and there is some evidence that this may be the case again in 2009.

Carl Clump, chief executive of Retail Decisions (ReD), card fraud prevention and payment processing experts, said: “We’re witnessing a 17 per cent rise in online retail sales through December, which shows how important the internet has become as part of our daily lives. We are also seeing online shoppers spending their Christmas money with the larger retailers, because they have confidence in the longevity of reputable brands.”

Mike Petevinos, head of consulting for retail at Capgemini UK, added: “November’s results show a solid growth for online retail in the run up to Christmas. Given retailers perceptions that consumers are holding out for bargains, this would suggest a strong December for online.

“The challenge will be to ensure that value is at the forefront of the Christmas message, with carefully designed promotions becoming the norm across the sector. Inspiring confidence in late delivery windows could also become a differentiator for those that have got it right.”

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