Online Christmas Day shopping boom expected as consumers start sale shopping early

The traditional Boxing Day sales are once again expected to begin online…on Christmas Day. Data from Barclaycard shows that on Christmas Day last year consumer spending online was up almost 30% compared to the previous year.
The early rush to get the best sales bargains looks set to continue this year as research for Barclaycard shows that almost a third of us (31%) say we’ll be browsing the sales online on Christmas Day. That out strips those who plan to hit the high street on Boxing Day with just over one in four people planning to brave the sales (27%).
Spending data from Barclaycard,  which processes nearly half of all debit and credit card transactions in the UK, shows that the amount spent online on Christmas Day has grown by an average of 23.7% over the past two/three years.
Family Clothing (+38.2 per cent), Department Stores (+34.5 per cent) and DIY Stores (+31.0 per cent) all saw some of the strongest online growth on Christmas Day last year.
Top 5 spend categories on Christmas Day 2012
Family Clothing +38.2%
Department Stores +34.5%
Cinema, Theatre & Dance +34.4%
Public Transport +32.9%
DIY Stores +31.0%
But the rush to the virtual high street is unlikely to diminish the lure of sales shopping on Boxing Day – last year saw consumer spending grow strongly on 26 December, up 9.6% overall –  23.7% online, and 5.4% in-store.
DIY, Clothing and Department retailers were again the strongest beneficiaries, as was Public Transport as commuters looked to renew their season tickets in advance of annual price increases coming into effect.
Online spending is up 9.1% so far this Christmas, as budget-conscious consumers continue to shift more of their shopping online where they can more easily compare prices.
A Barclaycard spokesperson said: “The Boxing Day sales have traditionally been the day when we splash our Christmas cash – however the relentless growth in online shopping, and ever-earlier sales, means that more and more of us are taking to the web on Christmas Day to secure the best bargains.
“It’s been the theme through much of 2013 – we continue to see shoppers keep up their search for value by shifting more of their shopping online, as the phenomenal success of discount days this year such as Black Friday and Mega Monday shows.”
Top 5 spend categories on Boxing Day 2012 (% increase on 2011)
Overall Online In-store
DIY Stores +48.1% Department Stores +55.9% DIY Stores +51.9%
Public Transport +29.8% Women’s Clothing +54.7% Public Transport +38.5%
Furniture Stores +26.0% Supermarkets +42.0% Furniture Stores +26.8%
Cinema, Theatre & Dance +22.8% Cinema, Theatre & Dance +31.5% Supermarkets +20.1%
Supermarkets +20.5% Family Clothing +28.4% Men’s Clothing +13.2%

This year’s Mega Monday saw a whopping 30% of all spending done online, up from 28% last year and reaching one of the highest levels seen in Barclaycard’s history.

Of those who will be surfing the sales on Christmas Day, the majority will log on in the evening, once all the festivities are over (28%). Over a fifth (22%) admit they will browse the sales whenever there is a lull in the day’s events. However, 12% aren’t able to contain their sales excitement, saying they will look in the early hours of Christmas Day morning, or straight after opening their presents in the morning.