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December on the high street is most popular time and place for Christmas shopping

Over half of consumers leave 2008 Christmas shopping late in the hunt for bargains

(PresseBox) (London, ) One third (33 per cent) of shoppers are doing the majority of their Christmas shopping on the high street in December according to new findings released today. The Christmas shopping habits poll carried out by user experience consultancy, Webcredible, reveals that Christmas shoppers buck the trend of turning to online shopping for good deals by flocking to the high street in their droves as Christmas Day draws near.

The findings show that last minute Christmas shopping is all the rage in 2008 with more than half (53 per cent) of the consumers polled revealing that the majority of their Christmas shopping would be done in December. In the current economic climate, consumers are putting off spending until the last minute and looking for late in-store price reductions. Many are also not willing to risk posted goods not arriving in time by online shopping so late in the year.

The research polled more than 1,000 online consumers on when and how they would do the majority of their Christmas shopping in 2008 - between September and December either online or on the high street. Before December, online was much more popular among consumers with 11 per cent Christmas shopping online in September compared to two per cent on the high street, and five per cent preferring online shopping in October compared to three per cent on the high street.

In contrast, 16 per cent of consumers said they would do the majority of their Christmas shopping online in November with 10 per cent preferring to shop on the high street in November. This demonstrates a clear trend firstly for more Christmas shopping taking place later in the year, and secondly, a gradually increasing proportion of that shopping taking place on the high street as Christmas gets closer.

Overall there was a fairly even split in how people shopped between September and December 2008, with 52 per cent of people doing most of their Christmas shopping online, and 48 per cent taking to the high street. This reversal of the growing online shopping trend is also partly down to people having more of a need to see the physical goods when shopping for Christmas gifts.

Ismail Ismail, Director at Webcredible comments, "Over the past few months, we have seen a trend of people increasingly shopping online to find the best deals. However, this trend seems to be much less evident when it comes to Christmas shopping, as people prefer to look at the physical goods, save their spending until the last minute looking for in-store bargains and are unwilling to risk not receiving gifts in time for Christmas.

"To fully capitalise on this reverse trend, and to boost sales in general, it is important that retailers tie their online and offline marketing and promotions into one common goal. Their websites need to be as usable as possible to allow customers to easily purchase online or browse and reserve online before purchasing on the high street. It is multi-channel approaches like this that will allow retailers to maximise sales as much as possible in these challenging times."

About Webcredible

Founded in 2003, Webcredible (www.webcredible.co.uk) is a user experience consultancy, dedicated to making websites easy to use, accessible to all and ultimately more effective. The UK-based consultancy offers a wide range of services, including user-centred design, usability & accessibility testing, accessible web design, an accessible CMS, as well as a comprehensive training programme.

With almost 200,000 monthly website visitors and a long list of global clients in the private and public sector, including T-Mobile, Norwich Union, eBay, the BBC and the World Health Organisation, Webcredible is widely regarded as one of the most respected consultancies in the user experience industry.

The consultancy brings an unrivalled passion and enthusiasm to their work and their uniquely open and collaborative approach to projects ensures clients can fully understand and contribute to the process while gaining on-the-job training and knowledge transfer.

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