Online spending to overtake in-store sales for first time

christmas shopping on a laptop

Consumer spending online is set to overtake in-store spending for the first time ever this Christmas, says new research.

The amount of money consumers spend online will overtake in-store spending for the very first time this Christmas, according to predictions by delivery specialists ParcelHero. The company says Brits will spend £39.41bn online this Christmas as online spending outstrips High Street sales for the first time as shoppers brace for a Covid Christmas.

In Christmas 2019, Britain’s shoppers spent over £78bn on Christmas presents and food. ParcelHero says customers look set to spend around the same amount again this year but, this time, a far bigger slice of our Christmas budget will be online.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research David Jinks says: “Last Christmas, we spent £25.43bn online and £53.15bn in stores. This year, our research shows the situation will be reversed and we’ll spend more online than offline in the first truly digital Christmas.

“In September, sales online grew 53% YOY, according to the ONS. This Christmas, we think they will inch up to 55%. That means online shopping will rise to a record-breaking £39.41bn.

“We don’t think it’s likely we’ll see a massively increased overall spend this Christmas, as people are concerned for their jobs because of the impact of Covid and Brexit, which looms just seven days after Christmas. So, assuming Brits spend roughly the same as last year, that means in-store shopping will correspondingly drop considerably to £39.17bn.

“With Amazon and Tesco promising free grocery deliveries for Christmas for shoppers in their membership schemes, we’re also expecting food deliveries to soar over the festive period. As even Marks & Spencer launches full-scale food deliveries thanks to its new Ocado tie-in, you could say it’s not just an online Christmas revolution, it’s an M&S online Christmas revolution this year.”