Christmas Day is rapidly becoming one of the biggest events in retail. Last year, shoppers spent £1bn online on the big day and this year will see that rise to £1.2bn, says the leading parcel price comparison site ParcelHero.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: ‘The growth of Christmas Day as a shopping event has become a retail phenomenon. Previously, Boxing Day launched the big post-Christmas sales season but now it’s Christmas Day itself.
‘Brits used to slouch in front of “Home Alone” or the Queen’s speech but, last year, 11 million of us shopped online while just 8.2 million watched the Queen’s Christmas message.
‘There are many reasons why the day has become so popular for shoppers. Often, children are swift to indicate disappointment because they have been overlooked by an aunt or given the wrong toy. Knowing a new present is on its way swiftly restores Christmas cheer.
‘Then there’s the emergency option for that moment when you know you have bought your partner the wrong present. It’s not a great feeling when your loved one has lavished time and money on your present but is on the receiving end of a novelty jumper. A sneaky order with next day delivery means you can tell them their main present is still on its way.
‘Of course, we have all experienced the pang of Christmas Day disappointment ourselves as, despite all the hints, we survey our new socks and toiletries. Last year, Brits were given £2.2bn-worth of unwanted Christmas gifts, according to eBay. That’s why so many of us console ourselves by buying the gift we really wanted.
‘Over the last few years. Christmas Eve has also been growing in popularity as a key day for online shoppers who have left everything to the eleventh hour. However, this year, we are strongly recommending against relying on this.
‘Christmas Eve same-day deliveries look highly ambitious this year. Amazon, Argos, ASOS, Net-a-Porter and Zara still claim to be able to take an online order and deliver it on the same day. However, this year, several of these stores are now wisely saying that 24 December orders will only be deliverable same day for specific postcodes. For ASOS, Net-a-Porter and Zara that’s a significant and sensible change from last year’s UK-wide Christmas Eve final order date. Only Amazon has control over its service because it owns Amazon Logistics, which now delivers around 15% of all UK parcels.
‘Given the current strain on delivery services because of Covid and Brexit, we won’t be surprised if retailers change to earlier final order dates as Christmas nears. That’s why our continually updated Christmas deadlines tool is so useful for keeping shoppers in the know with all their favourite retailers’ final order dates.