Majority of retailers admit to being optimistic about targets than last year, Barclays survey finds
UK retailers are feeling optimistic about their expectations this Christmas, thanks mainly to the growth in multi-channel shopping, a study has found.
A survey by Barclays found that sales completed on tablet are set to soar this year as more and more consumers use their devices to shop this holiday season. Over a third (35 percent) of retailers said it would be their main sales channel from a growth perspective, ahead of smartphones and stores, which both came in at 19 percent.
Social media could also prove to be a crucial new sales channel for many businesses this Christmas, with shopping for gifts via social networking sites could increase by over a fifth (21 percent) compared to 2013.
Overall, 70 percent of UK retailers are feeling more confident about Christmas trading compared to last year, a figure which includes 28 percent who said they were far more confident.
The start of the post-Christmas sales, which many retailers are aiming to start in the evening of Christmas Day itself, is also set to increase traffic hugely, with 99 percent of retailers saying they expected a rise in visitors hunting for bargains, with the peak time for online shopping predicted to be between 8pm and 10pm.
Many UK retailers will also follow the example of their American cousins to introduce Black Friday (November 28) and Mega Monday (December 1) promotions for the first time in order to attract new business.
“2014 has been a good year for many retailers thanks to heightened consumer confidence and this is clearly reflected in their brighter outlook for the Christmas season,” said Richard Lowe, head of retail & wholesale at Barclays.
“It’s interesting to see that purchases on tablets have been cited as retailers’ biggest opportunity for growth and social commerce is also one to watch in the future, as ‘buy buttons’ on social networking sites will make online shopping even more accessible.”
Research from Ofcom earlier this year found that the increasing use of tablets is encouraging more people than ever to access the Internet. Tablet use among all adults in the UK jumped from 16 percent to 30 percent in the space of 12 months, with 59 percent accessing the web through their smartphone.
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