Over a third of UK retailers expect huge growth from sales made via tablets this festive period as a feeling of renewed optimism engulfs the high street ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Barclays’ Christmas Countdown Survey 2014 found that 35 per cent of retailers expect tablets to be the fastest growing sales channel and it trumps smartphone and stores, which both tallied 19 per cent.
Social media buying, which is still in its early stages, is another area being looked upon with expectant gasps and retailers think it could grow by 21 per cent compared with 2013.
“2014 has been a good year for many retailers thanks to heightened consumer confidence and this is clearly reflected in their brighter outlook for the Christmas season. It’s interesting to see that purchases on tablets have been cited as retailers’ biggest opportunity for growth and social commerce is also one to watch in the future, as ‘buy buttons’ on social networking sites will make online shopping even more accessible,” said Richard Lowe, Head of Retail & Wholesale at Barclays
Optimism is much higher than it was at this time last year with 70 per cent of retailers more confident about Christmas trading than was the case then and 28 per cent “far more confident” than 2013. When the same question was asked last year, the number was just 52 per cent and the same confidence extends to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Of the retailers surveyed, 65 per cent are planning to put on promotions on 28 November [Black Friday] to drive sales and 69 per cent expect Black Friday and Cyber [or Mega] Monday promotions to continue to drive sales in the years to come. Almost all [96 per cent] were also happy to agree that traffic will increase to their site on Cyber Monday compared to last year.
“The UK hasn’t seen Black Friday and Mega Monday fall on the same weekend since 2008 so retailers will be pulling out all the stops to make it a great shopping experience with some dazzling offers. However, some consumers will opt to leave their Christmas shopping later than this, thanks to improved delivery and Click and Collect options,” Lowe added.
Retailers are also ready to be inundated with traffic on Christmas Day itself with 99 per cent expecting hits to increase and the busiest period predicted to occur between 20:00 and 22:00.