First ever Billion Pound Boxing Day on the horizon

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Boxing Day online

Boxing Day online sales are set to surpass the £1 billion mark for the first time this year, although it would still be dwarfed by Black Friday sales.

Figures from IMRG shows that online retail spend on Boxing Day will rise 7.9 per cent to £1.03 billion, compared to last year’s record of £954 million.

IMRG also predicted that 40 per cent of spend will happen through mobile transactions.

Despite the forecast, IMRG’s Black Friday online sales figures would still outstrip Boxing Day.

In 2017, it online spend reached £1.39 billion – an 11.7 per cent increase on Black Friday in 2016.

Meanwhile, online retail spend on Christmas Day will reach £844 million, which represents a 6.3 per cent uplift on the same day in 2016 when £794 million in online sales was recorded.

Of this year’s predicted Christmas sales, IMRG expects 44 per cent – or £371.4 million – would be done via mobile.

“On those days we usually see a higher share of sales going through smartphones, as people are away from desktops visiting family,” IMRG managing director Justin Opie said.

He added: “Boxing day sales remain a fixture of retail and an important day in the calendar, but Black Friday has altered sales patterns over the full peak period and is now the primary discounting event of the season.

“And perhaps, as with Black Friday, we’re seeing Boxing Day spend become more online-focused.

“Although going out to the shops on that day has long been a British tradition, footfall was reportedly down 7.3 per cent on Boxing Day last year – it’s likely that spend on Christmas Day is pulling some of that order volume forward as well, as shoppers have the ability to browse and buy from the sofa on mobile devices during quiet moments at home and visiting family, redeeming the huge numbers of gift cards and coupons that they receive in place of presents each year.”

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