Merry Christmas! E-commerce set to soar

Finally UK users look to be taking an interest in online shopping

New research has backed up previous predictions that Britain is set to experience its first online Christmas.

According to a survey from British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) the number of UK consumers making online purchases could rise by 50 percent in the run up to Christmas. At present, according to BMRB, 4.8 million people shop online with another 2.4 million saying that they plan to buy online before 25 December.

The research, commissioned by ISP and portal service Freeserve, found that 71 percent of those surveyed found online shopping appealing for Christmas purchases such as presents and food and drink. One-third of respondents said that the biggest appeal of Christmas online shopping was avoiding the hassles of high street shopping.

This report follows a survey from MORI, commissioned by online video retailer Blackstar, that found 31 percent of British users would be doing their Christmas shopping online. Of the 500 people surveyed by MORI, those planning to Christmas shop online were planning to spend an average of £130 each.

The MORI study supported the conclusion drawn by BMRB that one of the major reasons for consumers moving their Christmas shopping online was to make the process easier. Thirty-five percent of respondents said that they expected to save time and 20 percent to save money by shopping online.

Both surveys found that men were slightly more likely than women to turn to cyberspace for their gifts.

More details to follow.

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