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‘Mega Monday’ set to provide a spending bonanza for online retailers

With Xmas spirit in full swing and Slade back on the radio, savvy shoppers are turning to the internet to get the best deals, with online retailers in line for a bumper ‘Mega Monday’.

Online shopping is up 10.1% in 2013 compared to 20121 according to Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of all card transactions in the UK, indicating that the UK is bracing itself for a bumper Mega Monday today.

Mega Monday – the first Monday in December, when online retailers traditionally have their best deals – last year represented the highest day of online spend in Barclaycard’s history as online consumers spent an average of £57 per transaction. This pushed up the proportion of total online spend to 28% for the day, up from the average of just over 19%.

Online electronic stores (up 66.5%), online family clothing stores (up 35.4%) and online department stores (up 31.5%)2 saw the biggest increases in spending on Mega Monday in 2012.

As the economic downturn put pressure on incomes, consumers placed a new emphasis on fiscal responsibility and in looking for ways to make their money go further switched to doing more of their shopping online, where they could better compare prices. As a result, online shopping now accounts for over 20%4 of all spend made on credit and debit cards - up from a little over 15% just 2 years ago.

And it’s a trend that’s set to continue. When asked by Barclaycard3 about their likely shopping habits this Christmas, a fifth (21%) of online consumers who will do Christmas shopping said they plan to do a higher proportion of their shopping on the web this year, compared to last. Almost a third (28%) said they plan to do the same proportion of shopping for Christmas in-store and online this year compared to last year, but the majority of this will be online

With overall spending up 3.4% this year1 and 74% of those asked saying they are feeling more or just as confident about the wider UK economy in the run up to Christmas this year compared to 2012, it’s clear that consumers are beginning to feel a little more positive about their own finances.

A fifth (20%) of Christmas shoppers said they will spend more on Christmas this year, spending an average of 37% more than they did last year. This is due to reasons such as having a better financial outlook (27%) and a higher disposable income (25%). One in five (18%) admit that it’s been a tight few years, but they’re now in a better position to spend a bit more and treat their family and friends than at Christmas last year.

Buying presents and gifts for family and friends is consumers’ top spending priority this Christmas (62%), followed by entertaining at home (10%) and socialising outside the home (5%).

Chris Wood, Managing Director, Enterprise Development, Barclaycard said:

“The growth of online spending over the last three years, up by one third from 2010, shows just how much consumers are using the internet to make sure they are getting the best value on their shopping and make their money go further. Our research suggests that in preparation for Christmas 2013 more and more of us will be turning to the internet for their gifts and treats.

“Consumers have shown remarkable restraint since the economic downturn began and we’ve seen inflation outstrip spending growth for the majority of the last three years. In the last six months we have seen this begin to change and since April consumer spend growth has begun to outpace higher than inflation. With this trend expected to continue, we could see a record breaking Mega Monday this year.”