UK Holiday Shoppers Continue to Head Online

Digital will account for over 20% of total holiday retail sales

Author: Jasmine Enberg

November 30, 2017

Digital continues to make up a bigger slice of the holiday season retail sales pie in the UK. According to eMarketer’s latest holiday sales forecast, digital purchases will account for 20.9% of total UK holiday retail sales in 2017, surpassing the one-fifth mark for the first time. 

In all, UK retail ecommerce sales this holiday season—which eMarketer defines as November and December—will rise by 13.4% to £18.78 billion ($25.35 billion).

When buying gifts online, shoppers in the UK are most likely to turn to pure play digital retailers.

According to Deloitte’s annual “European Christmas Survey,” 36.2% of UK internet users said they plan to purchase Christmas gifts at an online-only store via its website, and 13.4% intend to do the same via a mobile device.

That doesn’t mean brick-and-mortar retailers in the UK should neglect to stock their shelves this season. Deloitte’s research shows that 62.2% of UK respondents plan to purchase at least some of their Christmas gifts in a physical store this year. Another 9.0% indicated they would use an in-store device to buy gifts online.

Overall, eMarketer estimates that total UK holiday retail sales, including purchases made via offline and digital channels, will reach £89.99 billion ($121.46 billion) in 2017, up 2.9% year over year.

Subscribers to eMarketer PRO can access eMarketer's complete forecast for UK retail and ecommerce here.  

Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash