Preparing for Christmas 2021: 58% of UK Consumers Want Real-Time Visibility of Online Orders

The pandemic has changed how consumers in the UK do their Christmas shopping and retailers need to start preparing now for a different looking 2021 holiday peak season, new research has found. The study, From Bricks to Clicks: State of Mobility in Retail 2021 Report, revealed that more than half (58%) of UK consumers now demand real-time visibility of their online Christmas purchases – from the moment they place an order to when it arrives at their door.

The study, by mobile and IoT device management solutions provider SOTI also discovered that a further 45% of consumers agree that, when Christmas shopping, they should be able to collect any order placed online, in-store and on the same day. A further 63% said that when Christmas shopping, they should be able to buy the same item again, either online or in-store, at the click of a button.

“The Christmas peak shopping period is one of the most strenuous for retailers and it’s also the most competitive. That’s why retailers need to start preparing now for Christmas 2021, to ensure they are prepared from both a stock and resourcing perspective,” said Sarah Edge, Director of Sales, UK and Ireland at SOTI. “Looking at the Christmas online shopping preferences of UK consumers today, our research has highlighted an increased demand for convenience, with calls for visibility of orders at every moment, and the option for quick click and collect or delivery.”

With convenience being a top priority for UK consumers at Christmas, 37% stated that if a retailer’s delivery or pick-up window was more than two days, they would look elsewhere.

A good returns experience is also a key expectation for the majority of consumers, with 66% saying they were more likely to buy from an online retailer that has an easy return process during the Christmas period. Additionally, 64% of consumers agree that an automated return process would make the experience faster and more convenient.

“UK online retail sales in December 2020 were up 37% year-on-year. With the pandemic still not over, we can expect that many UK consumers will once again choose to shop largely online this peak season. After a very challenging 18 months for retailers, they need to ensure they are set up for online Christmas shopping convenience, so they can truly take advantage of the holiday peak and avoid losing out to competitors,” added Edge.

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