Post-Christmas UK online sales leap says Wunderkind, fashion leads the way

Post-Christmas UK online sales leap says Wunderkind, fashion leads the way

2023 wasn’t a great year for online sales (or online pureplays) but perhaps 2024 will be better and the first bits of data coming through suggest it might, albeit they also show that consumers are very focused on deals.

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UK web revenues rose 9.5% week-on-week in the seven days from 25 December with both Christmas Day and Boxing Day delivering double-digit boosts to online trading.

That’s according to Wunderkind, the performance marketing specialist that scales one-to-one messages for retailers.

OK, we have to be realistic here, of course. Online sales are likely to have tailed off in the week before Christmas anyway given that consumers would have been concerned about not receiving items in time for the big day, so that makes the following week’s comparisons somewhat easier.

But a 9.5% increase isn’t something to be sniffed at and wunderkind suggested that consumers hadn’t only been avoiding online spend in the previous week because of delivery issues but had been actively delaying their spend in order to take advantage of online discounts.

And there was some justification in that view given that Boxing Day e-commerce revenues rose a massive 51% week-on-week and 39% compared to the same day in 2022 “as bargain-hungry shoppers searched deals and some retailers’ stores remained closed on Boxing Day”.

Interestingly as well, Christmas Day also saw a significant rise in online shopping, with web revenues up an even bigger 123% year-on-year, “as consumers took advantage of early access Boxing Day sales”. This followed a poll by Barclays that showed 23% of UK consumers planned to start shopping the sales on Christmas Eve, and a further 17% intended to bargain hunt on Christmas Day.

Original data came from Wunderkind’s Marketing Pulse, which analysed over 91.2 million shopping journeys.

It said UK consumers were tipped to spend £3.7billion on ‘deep discounts’ on Boxing Day, with fashion items proving the most popular category. And as mentioned, the higher levels of online purchasing may also have been further bolstered as many retailers, including M&S, John Lewis and Next, chose to keep retail stores closed on Boxing Day to give staff an extra day to spend with family.

Wulfric Light-Wilkinson, GM International at Wunderkind, said: “With consumers focused on making their budgets work as hard as possible this year, the data shows that many shoppers held off on Christmas spending in order to make the most of Boxing Day discounts. On the flip-side, retailers will have been managing a fine balancing act between meeting consumer demand for deals, driving stock sell-through, and maintaining margins.”

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