LONDON: Whatever their concerns about the economy, Britons are set to spend almost £25bn on gifts this Christmas and many will be researching and buying online using multiple devices.

A survey for RadiumOne, programmatic marketing technology experts, polled 1,000 people aged 16 and over and found that almost all would be giving presents with the average spend coming in at £489.

It also reported that fewer shoppers would likely be heading to the high street to make their purchases. Among those who already knew how they would buy their Christmas gifts, less than one in seven (13%) said they planned on doing both research and shopping in-store.

The groups most likely to continue to rely almost exclusively on traditional shopping customs were those over the age of 55 (23%) and those living in Wales (30%).

The online route was most popular with 45% of those surveyed, rising to 58% of 45-54 year olds. Regionally, people in the South West (51%) were most likely to research and buy this way.

But a significant proportion – two in five – have yet to make a firm decision on these matters; for them, deals (68%), convenience (62%) and time (45%) will be the deciding factors.

The survey further revealed that a quarter (24%) of online Christmas shoppers in the UK will use at least two internet devices to buy gifts. This is even more true of 16-24 year olds, 44% of whom will use more than one device when shopping.

But despite the hype around mobile, desktop computers (72%) remain the preferred device for online purchasing, particularly among people over 55 (82%). Just one in six (17%) will buy presents using their mobile phone, although this figure rises to 39% among 16-24 year olds.

"Christmas is, by far, the biggest sharing event of the year and it's fascinating to see how influential technology now is, with its multiple devices, in the whole of the Christmas decision-making process," said Rupert Staines, RadiumOne's European Managing Director.

"It's absolutely critical for brands and retailers to better understand these consumer connections and their fast-evolving relationship with technology to ensure their advertising delivers the ideal Christmas sales boost," he added.

Data sourced from RadiumOne; additional content by Warc staff