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£10b up for grabs as UK Xmas shoppers flock online

Over half of the UK’s Christmas shopping will be done online this year with shoppers finding the medium both more affordable and convenient than the high street even though there are still numerous complaints about online shopping.

Research by Rackspace Hosting found that 56 per cent of shoppers will do the majority of shopping online this festive period meaning that some £10 billion is up for grabs for online retailers.

“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, Managing Director, International at Rackspace.

Even with this huge amount of money on offer, online shopping experiences still need to improve with 63 per cent of consumers stating disappointment with at least one element of an online shopping experience last year. Customers were most annoyed by complicated check out processes [33 per cent] as well as websites that take too long to load [28 per cent].

The errors can be costly for retailers with 48 per cent admitting they abandoned a purchase and 34 per cent committing the cardinal sin by going elsewhere to complete a similar purchase.

“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,” Cotten added.

There was also a great deal of satisfaction from shoppers with 56 per cent choosing to shop online due to its convenience when compared to the high street and 32 per cent stating that it was cheaper. Also, 24 per cent added that shopping online was done to avoid the crowds found on the high street.

Connectivity across the holidays will be of the utmost importance with 65 per cent admitting they will go online on Christmas Day with the majority [26 per cent] doing so to send greetings to friends and family using social media, and 17 per cent posting photos using the same medium.

Boxing Day is a similar story with 63 per cent going online and 19 per cent of surfers checking out the sales online as opposed to braving the traditional sales that take place.