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E‐Commerce » Trends, Tips & Facts | 03.12.2013

Online Christmas shopping soars in 2013

 

Holiday shopping in 2013 will top last year’s sales, but while there is overall growth, the surge is particularly fuelled by online sales. Because unsurprisingly the online Christmas shopping continues to grow.

It really is the season to be jolly for online retailers across Europe. Online Christmas shopping has increased significantly over last year to the extent, where a fifth of the consumers are expected to carry out the majority of their shopping online[1]. Even though Christmas sales in general are growing slightly from 2012-2013 with percentages ranging from 0.9-3.0 per cent in countries such as UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, online sales boom in comparison.

This tendency is especially clear in the UK – Europe’s leading market in online sales – which is expected to reach record-breaking online sales of 12.9 billion euros leading up to Christmas[2], an increase of more than 15 per cent[3] compared to 2012. And the pattern is repeated in other European countries. E.g. in Denmark, where online sales forecasts predict an impressive 33 per cent growth from 121 million euros in 2012 to 161 million this year[4].

“Online Christmas shopping has increased significantly over last year to the extent, where a fifth of the consumers are expected to carry out the majority of their shopping online.”

These impressive figures have not escaped Manuel Bonnin, Asendia’s expert in international distance selling. “There is no doubt that the online share of the total Christmas sales will continue to increase over the next few years. And along with growth, we will most likely also see a development in the shopping patterns. For instance, the cross-border online sales are likely to grow significantly, as the consumers already look abroad for a wider selection of products. And this will make great demands on the e-tailers’ supply chains and delivery solutions”, says Manuel Bonnin.

Sales peak in early December across most of Europe
As an increasing part of the consumers turn to the Internet to carry out their holiday shopping, the amounts spent online increase correspondingly. A November 2013 study from Adobe shows that the average online UK shopper spends approx. 480 euros on online shopping, closely followed by consumers in Germany and France, who spend 300 euros on average[5].

In general, there is a surge in online sales in the weeks leading up to Christmas. During the holiday shopping season, online sales are predicted to be 1.42 times higher than the 2013 average. The Adobe study shows that the highest grossing online shopping day varies across Europe, but the survey also states that overall – and in most countries – December 9th is going to be the busiest day[5]. According to the study, online sales are going to be 2.74 times higher than the 2013 average on December 9th.

Most interestingly, when looking at a selection of European countries, France is the only country to have its highest grossing day after Christmas – once the winter sale sets in. According to Manuel Bonnin, the trend in France may also spread to other European markets in the coming years. “It is a long-standing tradition that the post-Christmas sales mean hoards of consumers exchanging presents and taking advantage of offers and sales – but in stores. This too may increasingly be moving online in the coming years, as the e-tailers develop return solutions, which to a greater extent offer consumers the same experience, while still providing wider selections or cheaper prices,” says Manuel Bonnin.

[1] 4-traders.com (2013), Rise in online Christmas shopping sales predicted as in-store sales set to fall
[2] Theguardian.com (2013), UK retailers ready for record online sales this Christmas
[3] 4-traders.com (2013), Rise in online Christmas shopping sales predicted as in-store sales set to fall
[4] FDIH.dk (2013), Julehandlen på nettet sætter rekord – igen!
[5] Blogs.adobe.com (2013), Online shoppers turning to mobile, Social during the Christmas season

Christmas 2013 busiest online shopping day [5]

Germany: Dec 8, 3.03 times higher than on average daily online sales
Nordics: Dec 9, 3.63 times higher than on average daily online sales
Netherlands: Dec 16, 1.74 times higher than on average daily online sales
France: Jan 8, 2.45 times higher than on average daily online sales

 

About Manuel Bonnin
Manuel Bonnin is Head of Industry in Distance Selling, E-Commerce at Asendia. He is expert in cross-border mail order distribution and the rapidly expanding E-Commerce sector.