A new survey from UK independent parcel carrier Yodel suggests that almost a third (31%) of people plan to do the entirety of their festive shopping online this year, more than a fourfold increase from last Christmas, when only 7% opted for online-only gift-buying.
Although the shift towards online retail has already gathered pace over recent years, consumer experience of doorstep delivery during the pandemic – alongside a growing lack of choice on the High Street – will see a surge in demand for online shopping this Christmas.
The survey also found that three fifths (61%) plan to adopt a hybrid approach to buying gifts this festive season, doing part of their shopping online and part in-store. This approach is being driven by young people, with almost seven in 10 (68%) of 18-24s planning a hybrid Christmas shop, compared to just over half (55%) of over 75s.
The wide adoption of this mixed way of shopping is likely to be a result of the growth of e-commerce, coupled with many still wanting to enjoy the festive experience of hitting the High Street at Christmas.
Nevertheless, three quarters (75%) of shoppers reported that they would or already have done more of their Christmas shopping online this year, with four in 10 (40%) saying they would be starting earlier than they have previously and almost a quarter (23%) saying they would also be spending less this Christmas.
“The run-up to Christmas is always one of the busiest periods for online retailers, but this year looks like it will be particularly intense as consumer appetite for e-commerce continues to grow,” commented Mike Hancox, CEO of Yodel. “To cater to this increased demand, we are recruiting more than 4,300 new colleagues for a range of roles across the business this festive season.”