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September 1, 2014

UK shoppers set to spend a record £13bn online this Christmas

Offline businesses could miss out on as much as £88bn.

By Vinod

This Christmas is set to be the most lucrative yet for online businesses in the UK, with a new report estimating that this year’s holiday spending could see a new record amount.

Boosted by a rise in the amount of shopping done via mobile and tablet devices, the total online spend by British consumers is set to top £13bn for the first time.

However, many UK SMBs are set to miss out on a slice of this splurge due to a non-existent or below-par online presence, with many lacking a proper mobile payments system or social media site, losing them vital interactions with potential customers.

Only 10% of UK SMBs are currently online, the survey found, a shockingly low amount, especially as they could be missing out on part of the £88bn set to be spent online in the UK this year.

"With record online spending predicted for Christmas 2014, it’s never been more important for small businesses to be online," said Simon Black, CEO of Sage Pay, which carried out the sruvey. "Most larger retailers are already preparing themselves for Christmas, and if independent merchants want to capitalise on consumers’ confidence, they need to follow suit and begin preparing too."

"An alarming amount of UK SMBs are still not online. This will have a serious business impact not only for Christmas, but in the longer term as the exponential rise in online spending continues."

British shoppers certainly have an appetite for ecommerce, as online spending hit £91bn throughout 2013, according to the January IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, with £11bn of this coming in December.

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Sales via smartphones and tablets rose by 138% during the year, and 27% of all online sales during December were done through a mobile device, which is double the amount spent during the corresponding period in 2012.


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