By Daniel Hunter
Retailers are on the hunt for aggressive discounts and will be using increasingly diverse means to find them, as Mega Monday kicks off the Christmas shopping season.
Mega Monday is so called because it is the biggest day of online shopping frenzy experienced by online retailers in the run-up to Christmas. According to research conducted by Visa Europe and John Lewis, Mega Monday will be the busiest online shopping day in history in the UK, with £320 million predicted to be spent on Visa cards alone, as transactions hit 6.8 million.
Online shopping records were broken in the US on Cyber Monday — the first major shopping day after Christmas, with sales up 28.4% compared to last year.
Companies are expecting an increase in mobile shopping this Christmas, with smartphones and tablets changing people’s shopping habits, and with the introduction of 4G technology, many are expecting a rise in shopping on the go. According to figures released by Deloitte, £3.5 billion of Christmas sales this year will either be bought via smartphones or influenced by them, with consumers using their devices to look up prices, store shopping lists, interact with their social media networks, and to purchase goods.
“Retailers looking to go from the red into the black have had to engage in multichannel retailing in order to attract more customers in the current economic climate," Chris Thomas, CEO and founder of online footwear retailer, Cloggs said.
"They are already being helped by the popularity of tablets and smartphones over the past year, which has not only given them more avenues through which to shop, it has also encouraged shoppers to share their latest purchases with friends and alert them to bargains.
“We have seen increasing interest from discount sites, with promo codes and mobile vouchers also being a major driving force for online retailers this year. People are very much in tune with stores offering discounts on products and as shopping becomes a much more social affair, mobile devices will be a key ally this Christmas.”
The most active online shopping day historically falls on the Monday closest to the beginning of December and so the busiest online shopping day in the UK this year is forecast to be Monday 3rd December. In what has been a turbulent year for British retail, Mega Monday will set the tone for retailers throughout the Christmas period.
“Online activity has emerged as a vital area that will only continue to grow in importance over Christmas," Chris concluded.
"Retailers who have a competitive offering for both web shoppers and those on the high street will be well placed to reap the rewards.”
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