Christmas Day is supposed to be a time to enjoy and spend time with one another, but new evidence from Worldpay suggests that many people across the UK are hiding away from their families from as early as 8am to get online and make some yuletide purchases.
The data, taken from 2015, shows transactions start early and build throughout the day, peaking at 9pm. The evidence suggests that while the sales traditionally start on Boxing Day, the allure of a good deal is enough to lure people away from the turkey and crackers.
Online retailers saw a flurry in spending in the lead up to Christmas with overall online sales peaking on December 22nd, as sales soared 45% higher than the average for the festive period. The week before Christmas is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year and the data shows a picture of shoppers desperate to get loved ones a last-minute, show-stopping gift, delivered just in time for the big day.
And it’s not just a busy time for retailers. Christmas Day also saw the highest volume of digital content subscriptions, suggesting that people aren’t crowding around the TV for Christmas staples like Dr Who and Strictly anymore, but are instead glued to their laptop screens watching The Grand Tour or Stranger Things. At £32 on average, spending on subscriptions was however lower than the days surrounding Christmas, with families possibly choosing to buy just a holiday movie or two to settle into the evening with.
Videogames got a piece of the action too, with nearly 300,000 downloads made on Christmas Day alone, nearly four times that of an average day. Gaming downloads began to surge at 9am as kids opened up their brand new consoles following the morning present rush and quickly got gaming. Downloads peaked at 12pm, before trailing off as desperate parents persuaded their children to put down the controller and sit up at the table.
Maria Prados, VP global retail, global e-com at Worldpay, said: “The Christmas period is of course the biggest time for retailers, but the data suggests that the ease of shopping from home has made Christmas Day itself an extension of holiday spending. From very last minute gifts to getting a head start on the sales, the figures show that retailers must be prepared every day of the year.
“The increase in online subscriptions also shows a change in Christmas tradition. Where once families would gather round the screen to hear the Queen’s speech or find out who killed Lucy, now they can binge watch the latest Scandi-drama on demand. Christmas Day is a great indicator to see how retailing and the way we consume has changed as technology evolves.”