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Christmas shopping 2013 set to increase by 1.2%

Xmas spending is more likely than last year to be done online and paid for on credit

The Payments Council predicts Christmas shopping 2013 will see a 1.2% increase from the previous year with £82.7bn spent

The Payments Council predicts Christmas shopping 2013 will see a 1.2% increase from the previous year with £82.7bn spent

Christmas shopping in 2013 is set for a 1.2% increase in spending by UK consumers, according to predictions by the Payments Council.

Almost 12% of all consumer spend is expected to be online this year, representing an increase of 495% over the past 10 years.

Research by retail bank, Santander, suggests that this proportion for online spending could even go as high as every £1 in £3.

Santander’s study also highlights the emerging trend for shoppers to ‘showroom’ or ‘try before they buy’’, with 30% of shoppers preferring to visit the high street and look at a product before ordering it online.

Credit cards

Unsurprisingly, the use of cheques are declining with a -11% usage predicted over the previous year and -54% over the past decade.

However, credit card spending is set to increase by 1.4% this year, which may be indicative of the economy’s sluggish recovery, according to uSwitch personal finance expert, Michael Ossei.

“Although we’ve seen some recovery in the economy over the past year, it hasn’t yet reached the pockets of the average consumer, which may explain the increase in credit card usage.

“Consumers are also becoming more savvy and trying to get the most out of their shopping with rewards and cashback credit cards, but we could see many Brits suffering from a debt hangover at the start of 2014,” Mr Ossei said.

Consumer confidence

Meanwhile, Santander believe the increase in spending is a signal of consumer confidence over the past 12 months.

According to their research, 64% of those who intend to shop online at Christmas say convenience is a key reason, with six in 10 saying they can find the same items for less money.

Alan Mathewson, CEO Santander Cards said: “Shoppers are clearly still looking to get more for their money, however, with large numbers of them using a range of techniques such as bartering in-store with prices they have found online, or looking for cashback deals.”

Last year, December’s consumer spending figures reached £81.7bn and, in 2013, the Payments Council predicts this figure will go up to £82.7bn.