Brits to spend £5 billion online this Christmas header image

The Christmas period will see Britons spend £5 billion online, according to new research. 

Deloitte has predicted the amount people spend on the internet during the festive period will increase 19 per cent when compared to last year. This will contribute to a 3.5 per cent rise in total spending, with some £40.3 billion spent both online and offline. 

The organisation said it expects department and homeware stores to perform particularly well over Christmas and clothing brands should have strong sales, provided the weather stays cold. It added the food sector will remain competitive. 

This month has seen the new Xbox One games console released and with the PlayStation 4 to follow shortly, Deloitte believes electronics retailers could improve their sales. 

In terms of how consumers receive the goods they buy online, the organisation claimed flexible delivery could become increasingly important. 

Ian Geddes, Deloitte head of retail, stated: "Shoppers are expected to loosen purse strings off the back of rising consumer confidence and improving economic conditions. Flexible delivery could be this year's battlefield."

"After last year's click-and-collect Christmas, consumers’ expectations around flexible delivery over the coming festive period are higher than ever before. Store collection is now seen as a basic offering," he added.

Deloitte's research forecast close to 20,000 click-and-collect points will be used over the course of the Christmas period. 

In a survey of consumers, the organisation found 47 per cent want to see empty high street stores converted into collection points for online purchases. Meanwhile, 36 per cent of respondents said they would like to be able to pick up smaller items they have bought on the internet from places closer to their home. 

Ben Perkins, Deloitte head of consumer business research, claimed innovative retailers are setting new standards for delivery and collection, but warned this needs to be balanced against cost. 

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