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A new survey* by UK independent parcel carrier Yodel suggests that almost a third (31%) of people plan to do the entirety of their festive shopping online this year, more than a fourfold increase from last Christmas, when only 7% opted for online-only gift-buying.
While the shift towards online retail has already gathered pace over recent years, consumer experience of doorstep delivery during the pandemic, alongside a growing lack of choice on the high street, will see a surge in demand for online shopping this Christmas.
The survey also found that three fifths (61%) plan to adopt a hybrid approach to buying gifts this festive season, doing part of their shopping online and part in-store. This approach is being driven by young people, with almost seven in 10 (68%) of 18-24s planning a hybrid Christmas shop, compared to just over half (55%) of over 75s.
The wide adoption of this mixed way of shopping is likely to be a result of the growth of ecommerce, coupled with many still wanting to enjoy the festive experience of hitting the high street at Christmas.
Nevertheless, three quarters (75%) of shoppers reported that they would or already have done more of their Christmas shopping online this year, with four in 10 (40%) saying they would be starting earlier than they have previously and almost a quarter (23%) saying they would also be spending less this Christmas.
Mike Hancox, CEO of Yodel, said: “The run-up to Christmas is always one of the busiest periods for online retailers, but this year looks like it will be particularly intense as consumer appetite for ecommerce continues to grow. To cater to this increased demand, we are recruiting over 4,300 new colleagues for a range of roles across the business this festive season.”