Families tell us where they find the magic in both in-person and online shopping during the festive period.
As the nights draw in, our high streets twinkle as they welcome crowds of shoppers in the run-up to Christmas. Traditionally, we would go hunting for gifts in town centres festooned with Christmas trees and festive lights. As our shopping bags grew heavy, we might pop into a church to hear carols or stop for a mulled wine and a mince pie.
Yet the convenience and choice offered by online shopping has given us competing options that are growing in popularity. In the five years between 2017 and 2022, online spending during the festive season surged by £8 billion, according to Statista, while in-store spending fluctuated. This growth was in spite of online gift-buying dropping slightly after lockdown, with sales in 2022 at £5 billion less than they were in 2020, when they hit £35.26 billion. The bottom line is that there is still something about the in-store retail experience that draws us in, with physical sales still ahead of online shopping in every year during that period.
So it seems that ‘traditional’ Christmas shopping is something that people want to hold onto.