Whether you love it or hate it, the winter season is a fabulous time of year for the shopaholics among us. From Black Friday cyber deals to the New Year sales, you’d be forgiven for feeling that there’s always some excuse to spend.

With the season’s festivities well and truly underway, and the high street brimming with stocking fillers and Christmas gifts galore, it’s not difficult to see why the retail sector has branded winter the ‘golden quarter’ – the months between November and February are certainly the most profitable of the year.

Ecommerce sales have been growing in recent years in the UK, and according to a report conducted by digital and marketing intelligence group eMarketer, ecommerce sales will reach an estimated £16.9 billion during November and December.

Smartphone shopping set to shine

Set to be an all-time high and up from £14.65 billion in 2015, this whopping figure represents about a fifth of total Christmas retail sales this year, compared to 17.8% of all Christmas sales this time last year.

One of the biggest, yet least surprising, revelations from eMarketer’s UK Christmas Season Retail Sales forecast is the growing shift to consumers buying through their smartphones. eMarketer report this as one of the main reasons behind this year’s Christmas ecommerce sales growth.

Despite the prediction that smartphone buying will account for 36.4% of of all UK retail ecommerce sales in 2016, it still lags behind mobile tablet ecommerce sales. This balance is anticipated to shift by 2020 however, by which time it is predicted that 52% of all eCommerce sales will be done via smartphone.

A change in consumer habits

With new technology advancing at such speed, it’s clear from eMarketer’s research that consumer habits are evolving and becoming increasingly digitally focused. Following their forecast, eMarketer said: “UK consumers have always been quick to embrace digital technologies and eMarketer’s forecast shows that this extends to shopping and buying.”

eMarketer’s senior analyst, Bill Fisher also stated:“Retail eCommerce sales during the festive season look set to shine this year, despite the wider economic conditions in the UK.

“This is in no small part due to a digitally advanced consumer, who has been quick to embrace digital buying and particularly smartphone buying. And during the Christmas shopping period, these digital habits become even more accentuated.”

As consumer habits evolve and become increasingly more digital, it’s essential for retailers of all shapes and sizes to embrace this change and ensure that they perfect their smartphone sales experience to continue to drive transactions.

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Posted in Ecommerce on 30th Nov 2016