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December 14, 2012

Brits choose the web over In-store Christmas shopping

Research reveals that UK customers plan to spend most of their Christmas shopping budget online.

By Tineka Smith

The research, carried out by SDL, found that UK adults put internet shopping far ahead of in-store.

Another 10% of shoppers said they would use a smartphone or tablet to do their online shopping.

The research found that many consumers research gifts in-store before buying through a different channel. Over 55% of adults said they visited a store to review products they planned purchasing online.

"While the data from those surveyed showed that more money will be spent online, the physical store is still very important and we believe the shopping season will be made up of customers experiencing brands through multiple channels," said Bob Hale, CEO of SDL Campaign Management & Analytics division. "Understanding and engaging customers based on their preferred use of each channel creates a customer experience consumers will value during Christmas and all year round."

The study follows an earlier report by Virgin Media business which found that 73% of CIOs said that more technology was needed in shops in the run up to Christmas. Half of the respondents also said the retail sector was in need of a "technological revolution."

"A multi-channel approach to attracting customers into stores and making them part with their cash is now a necessity for retailers," said Tony Grace, COO of Virgin Media Business. "CIOs in the sector have clearly recognised this and are pushing for more to be done with technology on the high street. By making the right technology decisions, both in store and online, retailers and consumers stand to get the maximum benefits from digital solutions."

Grace suggests that retailers can integrate mobile and social media capabilities to help customers pinpoint what they want when shopping.

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"There are retailers that have picked up on this potential early, integrating mobile shopping apps, virtual fitting rooms and using social networking sites to influence purchasing decisions. New high bandwidth connectivity options for UK retailers are available to implement ideas and tactics that’ll tempt shoppers away from the keyboard. However, there’s clearly room for even more creative use of technology to influence and help customers make up their minds."


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