‘Tis the season to be shopping online

13 Nov 2007

Households up and down the country will spend on average €1,431 on Christmas celebrations this year and 52pc of shoppers say they will probably head to the internet for their non-food goods.

A survey carried out by Deloitte on more than 400 people in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region found that confidence in online shopping has increased greatly: a mere 11pc are worried about internet fraud and online security, which previously have been the greatest barriers to its adoption.

The main reason holding shoppers back from heading to the web is purely tactile: 44pc of shoppers say they prefer to touch a product before making a decision to purchase.

Because of this preference to see a product in the flesh standard items such as books, CDs and DVDs sell much better than clothing or cosmetics.

Some 70pc of survey participants said they would consider buying music online as Christmas gifts, while only 26pc would buy clothing or shoes.

Interestingly, MP3 player and iPods were only considered by 21pc: perhaps customers are worried about delivery dates in the run-up to the festive season.

Bigger, more expensive tech purchases like personal computers and laptops were only considered as online gifts by 15pc of respondents.

Although we are a nation of big spenders, coming in at No 1 in Europe’s list of top shoppers, it looks as though 24pc of us will consider heading to online auction sites like eBay in hunt of presents at a bargain price.

Overall the Irish are the second biggest users of the internet in the EMEA region, coming in behind the Germans.

While 36pc said that they will buy products and services over the internet, 25pc added that they will be using the web as a price comparison tool before they go and buy in the high street.

Despite 52pc of shoppers flocking online to make purchases this Christmas, there purchases may only be one or two books or DVDs in the overall context of their entire Christmas spend: this is why Deloitte forecasts that only 10pc of all spending over the festive will be done online.

By Marie Boran