Retailers to take hit as Christmas shoppers go electronic

Over one-third of people say they will do bulk of their festive shopping in stores

While the number claiming that they will do most of their gift shopping online is unchanged, there was a marked increase in those claiming that they will split their purchases between online and in-store channels

While the number claiming that they will do most of their gift shopping online is unchanged, there was a marked increase in those claiming that they will split their purchases between online and in-store channels

 

The online revolution appears to be continuing with the news that the number of Irish people planning to do their Christmas shopping in the shops as opposed to on their laptops has fallen dramatically.

Research commissioned by Dublin media agency Mediaworks says just 36 per cent of people will do most of their shopping in retail stores. That’s down from 48 per cent in 2014. The biggest change regionally was seen in Leinster where there was a 30 per cent drop.

While the number claiming that they will do most of their gift shopping online is unchanged, there was a marked increase in those claiming that they will split their purchases between online and in-store channels.

Mediaworks managing director Paul Moran believes there are “a number of factors” at play. “Consumers know considerable value can be found online compared to buying a similar product in store,” he says. “At the same time, online payment has become easier and more reliable, which is enhancing our level of comfort with web-based transactions.”

Purchases made via mobile devices are also expected to grow, with 16 per cent of people saying they will buy books, music or games using a smart phone or tablet. This figure drops back to 6 per cent when it comes to the all-important toy shop, with half of people still preferring to visit a store. Perhaps unsurprisingly, consumers will also make the majority of their fashion or jewellery purchases in store.

While consumer sentiment has risen steadily in recent times, people still appear to be planning carefully when it comes to their Christmas spending, with 55 per cent of people intending to start buying their gifts before the end of November.

“People know they need to shop around to get the best value and they need to budget carefully too,” says Moran. “With Christmas being such a large expense, for families in particular, it makes sense to spread the pain across a number of pay cheques.”

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