Retailers braced for Cyber Monday bargain hunters

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Nine in 10 online retailers will be running special promotions.

Cyber Monday will hit online retailers today as “vast swathes” of shoppers hunt for bargains and deals online as the Christmas shopping period gets in to full swing.

However, the high street will feel the brunt as shoppers stay at home or shop from their desks rather than trawling bricks and mortar stores for gifts and special offers.

Stats from social retail site Shopow show that 62.7% of retailers will send promotions and deals to shoppers through a special Cyber Monday email and 21.6% will offer free shipping on all purchases, up 6% from last year.

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A number of large-scale UK retailers in have also launched mega-sales due to last several weeks – including Amazon which also sells a number of jewellery and watch brands – in an attempt to boost Christmas shopping amongst cash strapped shoppers.

In the run up to Christmas consumers are expected to spend £7.75 billion online, according to e-tailing trade association IMRG. An estimated £13 billion will be spent across all sectors online, however figures on the high street are expected to fall by 2.1% in spite of so many sales starting early.

Kevin Flood, chief executive of Shopow said: “The peak in online Christmas sales has been brought forward to this week, a whole 14 days earlier than expected. The recession and strong demand from consumers hunting for deals online has lead to an all out price war, with many retailers losing their nerve.

“We are experiencing a huge surge in demand from consumers hunting for deals and bargains on Christmas presents, we expect a record rise in online spend this Christmas forced in part by the recession and by ever tightening purse strings; creating a an all-out nation of bargain hunters.”

Flood says that after last year’s bad weather and delayed postage, many shoppers are keen to avoid long queues and no-show gifts.

“Retailers that were desperately in need of a reversal of their fortunes have found that they now have an encouraging platform on which to build in the run up to Christmas. Cyber Monday is an opportunity that retailers know they can’t miss, as millions upon millions of British shoppers take their footfall online,” he added.

The term Cyber Monday was coined in 2005 after retailers noticed a trend of people shopping online in the US, on the Monday after Thanksgiving. The shopping trend has now arrived in the UK and nearly nine in 10 online retailers are expected to be offering special promotions or discount codes on purchases from today.

 

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