Consumers are expected to spend GBP1.5bn more this Christmas

Consumers are expected to spend GBP1.5bn more this Christmas

UK consumers are set to spend GBP42.4bn (US$66.53bn) this Christmas, with online set to account for 50% of the market growth, the latest forecasts suggest.

According to Deloitte, consumers will spend GBP1.5bn more this year than last year. Sales for December alone are forecast to rise by 4% year-on-year, while online sales are expected to account for 13% of total sales, and 50% of the market growth.

This, the business advisory firm says, is being driven by growing consumer engagement with digital technology, combined with an increasing number of retailers adopting a multichannel model.

Around 40% of physical shop sales will be digitally influenced, meaning consumers will use some form of digital technology to inform or facilitate their purchase. This is equivalent to GBP15bn - almost three times the size of forecast online sales for December.

"Growth in the influence of digital on physical retail has been driven by consumers' desire to access information on products and services, compare prices and increasingly pay and transact via digital devices," said Ian Geddes, head of retail at Deloitte.

Meanwhile, click and collect will almost double, accounting for GBP2.5bn of online sales. And although click and collect will drive footfall in-store this Christmas, Geddes believes it will be up to the retailers to get their strategy and execution right to capitalise upon the opportunity.

"Increases in sales won't happen by default; they may require some adjustment of the in-store experience targeting customers that are clicking and collecting. However, the real winners will be those retailers that have invested in adapting their supply chain and warehousing to accommodate these changes in consumer shopping behaviour."