Barclaycard: Brits plan to splash out £2.7bn online in festive sales

Brits are planning to splash out £2.7bn in this year’s post-Christmas sales in a bid to treat friends and family, as well as themselves, after a challenging 2020.

New research from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, reveals that UK shoppers plan to spend an average of £162 each online, on items in the sales.

Boxing Day is the most popular day to start sales shopping, with over a quarter (27%) looking to make purchases on this day, up slightly from 2019 (25%).

One in four (24%) early birds intended to start sales shopping on Christmas Eve, while 17% planned to shop on Christmas Day itself – an uplift from 21% and 14% respectively from 2019 – indicating that Brits having quieter Christmases than usual will be using the time to shop online.

Post-pandemic pampering

Treats and last-minute gifts will be the most popular purchases in the sales this year. A quarter (25%) say they’ll be looking for presents for themselves as they deserve a treat due to the impact of the pandemic, while a similar number (24%) say they’ll be treating friends and family more than usual, for the same reason.

With many loved ones not able to see each other due to coronavirus restrictions, a thrifty 22% are also taking advantage of post-Christmas sales to buy last minute presents for those they won’t see over the holidays.

Great expectations

The anticipated popularity of the 2020 sales is spurred on by 42% of savvy shoppers expecting retailers to have stock to clear after lockdown closures. In fact, more than three in five (61%) won’t consider shopping with a retailer unless they have a sale on.

A third (33%) also plan to spend more in the post-Christmas sales than they did during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with the main reason cited being that the post-Christmas deals are better (32%).

Online reigns supreme

Reflecting the new restrictions being introduced across the UK, and many stores closed over the festive period, the majority (68%) of Brits will be shopping online this year, averaging £162 per person. In regions where non-essential stores are open, the average amount planned to be spent in-store is lower at £78 per person.

When asked about the impact of possible stricter lockdown measures being introduced in their region, and non-essential stores closing, almost three in 10 (29%) said they planned to spend the same amount, moving all of their spend online instead.

Restrictions helped many save for Christmas

A third (33%) of Brits say the money saved on socialising this year has helped them to finance Christmas, with 22% expecting to spend more in the sales as a result. However, 41% of those who have saved money have opted to put it into savings.

When it comes to popular purchases, fashion items such as clothes and shoes are at the top of Brits’ sales wish list (27%), followed by food and drink (23%), homeware (20%) and stationery, such as 2021 diaries (18%).

Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “The Boxing Day and post-Christmas sales are much-loved British traditions and, following a tough year, retailers will be encouraged to see that shoppers are feeling generous this festive season. 

“Although merchants continue to face challenges, we know that many bricks-and-mortar stores have invested in their ecommerce offering to ensure they’re as prepared as possible for the digital sales rush. While high street footfall will be down, we’re optimistic that an online shopping boost will give retailers a much-needed uplift as they head into the New Year.”