One in Three Britons Shopped Online This Christmas

04 January 2006

Internet retailers - whether progressive/dynamic or laid-back/torpid - have never had it so good, prospering with the global rise and rise of the internet.

The more so in nations like the UK, where broadband is now installed in eight million homes - double the number in 2004 - and providing online retailers with a massive shot in the arm.

According to London-headquartered online research agency, 34% of Christmas shopping was done on the internet, with a quarter of those polled saying they had spent "much more" online in 2005 than the previous year.

The researcher's 4,500-strong cyber-panel identified Amazon as the greatest beneficiary of the online shopping surge, with the US-owned retailer accounting for marginally less than 25% of all expenditure on media and home entertainment items such as CDs, DVDs and books.

YouGov joint-ceo Stephan Shakespeare reports that major shopping centre retailers such as Dixons, Currys, Comet and PC World were hard hit by this trend, although the so-called 'shopping sheds' remained "the destination of choice" for people buying flat-panel TV receivers.

High street books and music retailers are also reeling from the online assault avers YouGov, especially the likes of HMV, Virgin, WH Smith and MVC - the latter having gone into administration since fieldwork for the survey took place.

YouGov's BrandIndex underlined the company's Christmas findings. In the home entertainment and electricals sectors, for example, traditional retailers "saw the perception of their brands suffer during the Christmas period.

"Brands such as Amazon and saw the proportion of people associating them with good value rise during December," reported the survey.

As to food shopping, BrandIndex respondents on average shopped at three different supermarkets last month. Compared with 2004, people said they spent more at Tesco and Waitrose as well as at 'value' supermarkets like Aldi, Lidl and Netto.

And although more consumers shopped at Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's in December, they spent less money year-on-year, possibly because of falling prices.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff