Whereas total retail spending for the holiday season will likely be up only slightly from year-ago levels in the UK, France and Germany, online spending there is expected to grow strongly, according to a comScore study of the online shopping plans of European consumers.
Among comScore’s findings:
- On average, 62% of respondents in the three countries expect to spend about the same on their holiday shopping as they did last year; 20% expect to spend more; and 18% expect to spend less. Accordingly, total spend is likely to be up only slightly versus last year.
- However, 36% of respondents expect to spend more online on their holiday shopping than they did last year while 50% expect to spend the same and just 14% expect to spend less.
“The popularity of online shopping is set to reach an all time high this year, as time squeezed consumers – armed with high speed access and experience with the online channel – can be expected to spend more time shopping and buying Christmas gifts online,” said Bob Ivins, comScore EVP of International Markets.
One-third of holiday shoppers have already started
- Â In the UK, 48% of respondents said they had already started their Christmas shopping, with a further 30% planning to start within the first two weeks of November, according to comScore.
- German shoppers were also quick off the mark, with 36% having already started their Christmas shopping and a further 38% intending to do so within the fortnight.
- However, only 19% of French respondents claimed to have already started shopping for Christmas, with a further 38% planning to wait until December.
- French consumers were also found to be the most likely to still be shopping on Christmas Eve, with 7% saying that they would likely wait until the last minute.
Online payment methods differ
The study also found wide divergence in online payment methods among the three countries:
- Credit cards are by far the most popular form of online payment in France.
- Debit cards/bank transfers are the most popular in the UK and Germany.
- Preference for PayPal ranged from a low of 14% in France and Germany to a high of 20% in the UK.