(credit image/Pixabay/Gerd Altmann)Adobe’s research reveals UK shoppers spent £10.4 billion online in October – an increase of 5% on last year’s Covid-driven gains. An indication that many consumers started their Christmas shopping earlier than ever this year. The figure is the highest ever online spend in October and 58% higher than in 2019.

This brings the UK’s year-to-date online spending to £94 billion. This is up 12% YoY and 55% when compared with the same period in 2019. With the majority of the Christmas shopping period still to come, the UK is forecast to eclipse last year’s figures. Adobe expects shoppers to set a record for eCommerce sales.

The Digital Economy Index uses Adobe Analytics to analyse billions of online transactions on UK retail sites. The company says it is the most comprehensive report of its kind. Adobe also conducted a survey of 2,000 UK consumers in the first week of November, which found.

Consumers prefer one-stop shops

UK consumers are prioritising convenience over hunting down the best price for their items. This is despite 59% fearing their outlay on Christmas gifts and experiences are more expensive this year. The data shows:

  • More than one in five consumers (22%) choose to do all their Christmas shopping on one website.
  • Men are more likely to pick one retailer to do all their Christmas shopping (25%) than women (19%).
  • Younger people are the most likely to shop on one website. 37% of 18–34-year-olds doing so, compared with just 10% of those over 55.

UK consumers are growing increasingly sceptical of Black Friday

  • The majority of shoppers (53%) don’t plan to shop on Black Friday at all.
  • 61% of those said it was because they were sceptical about the size of the discounts on offer from retailers. While 39% said they felt this year’s discounts would be smaller than previous years.
  • 57% said they are becoming so unenamoured with Black Friday that they don’t even visit websites in advance to see what discounts are on offer.
  • Just 27% of shoppers believe they still get the best deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. 50% say they aren’t as good as they used to be.

However, discounts remain a factor for shoppers. 66% say that getting a good deal is the most important factor when shopping online. This is over product availability (64%) and free shipping (56%).

Shipping delays

Shoppers are so worried about supply chain issues and driver shortages. As a result, they are going to the shops in person this Christmas. To make sure they get their gifts on time. The research found:

  • Almost half of UK consumers are worried about shipping delays this Christmas (45%).
  • 32% of shoppers say they will shop in person this year to avoid any issues around shipping delays.
  • 44% said they were set to start their Christmas shopping earlier this year to avoid issues around deliveries. Despite more than half saying they wanted to secure items before they went out of stock (54%).
  • Despite the shipping crisis, just a third of Brits (33%) are willing to pay for faster or expedited delivery this Christmas to guarantee their gifts arrive on time.
  • Many are opting for experiences rather than products to avoid supply issues. 41% are buying concert tickets for Christmas, with spa treatments (39%) and sporting tickets (22%) among the top gift experiences.
(Image credit/LinkedIn/Paul Robson)
Paul Robson, President, International at Adobe

Paul Robson, President of International at Adobe said, “UK online spend continues to hit new heights. Particularly, as we enter the crucial Christmas trading period. It is even outperforming 2020 figures when consumers had little option but to shop online. We are seeing a growing scepticism around pre-Christmas discounts and shopping events like Black Friday. Many consumers putting convenience first this year and looking to get all their gifts from a single retailer. This presents retailers with a huge opportunity. Those that can target shoppers with bespoke deals to lure them in. Additionally provide a seamless digital shopping experience will be this year’s big winners.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business.

Adobe’s Digital Economy Index offers a pretty comprehensive set of insights into UK consumer behaviour ahead of Christmas. The research is based on analysis through Adobe Analytics. It covers billions of visits to UK retail sites and over 10 million SKUs — more than any other technology company. The analysis is significantly more in-depth and accurate compared to bog-standard survey-based reports. This is because Adobe has access to this volume of real-time, transactional consumer data. It is aggregated and anonymised, to provide insights on consumer spending, online prices and product categories. The UK Year-to-date spending is expected to reach £94 billion, as shoppers opt for ease over best deals this Christmas. 2019 and 2020 seasons were severe disruptions to the normal user behaviour with digital during the holiday season. Adobe’s analysis indicates that disruption is here to stay.

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