68% of shoppers say they usually find better bargains online

Taking to the high streets to take advantage of the current holiday deals can cause stress levels rise for many shoppers according to research from online loyalty programme Rakuten.co.uk.

The research has found that more than a quarter (28%) of the customers it surveyed feel stressed when it comes to Christmas shopping and 27% are worried about what it’s all going to cost.

With so much expectation and hype surrounding key shopping events including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 46% of those surveyed admit to shopping differently at this time of year, just to get through the task ahead.

Being prepared is the name of the game with more than half (56%) of customers allowing plenty of time to shop online in the months leading up to the main event. For 16%, Christmas is a year-round concern and sees them stocking up on gifts throughout the year to help spread the cost and make their lives easier. However, for 15% the last-minute trolley dash is still the best approach.

Seeking out deals online is also a key part of the Christmas shopping psyche. Almost two-thirds (64%) of customers Rakuten spoke to actively hunt out the best prices and shop around comparing different brands before making a purchase. However, one in five (19%), prefer to shop with brands they know and trust.

What’s interesting is that almost three quarters (74%) of people agreed that shopping online is less stressful than shopping in person and over two-thirds (68%) said they could usually find better bargains online.

“Shopping should be a fun not feared experience, especially during the festive season. There are numerous ways that shoppers can get the gifts and deals they actually want, without feeling overwhelmed or that they need to overspend,” commented Sebastiaan Rasterhoff, Head of Open e-Commerce Europe, at Rakuten.co.uk.

“The ability to shop online should take the stress out of shopping, no matter how you prefer to do it and how much time and budget you have. Being loyal to a brand or retailer can also lead to better deals and offers in the long-term.”

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