Welcome to the latest Grocery Trader Christmas Products Spotlight. As the displays of Christmas products start to appear in the supermarkets, conscientious shoppers are getting into the festive mood bright and early.
With the clock ticking in the lead in to Christmas, between now and December we will be highlighting some of the myriad products across the categories that are being given a touch of tinsel for the festive season.
Whatever our economy does, for consumers Christmas and the break that comes with it is a welcome blaze of light in the gloom, as days get darker and nights get longer. And for retailers, Christmas remains a huge, huge sales opportunity.
Getting Christmas organised is a massive job, even for those shoppers with a small family and social circle. It’s not just the presents to be bought – there’s the food and drink and everything else needed to keep the celebrations going from before Christmas Eve all the way to New Year’s Day. Inevitably Boxing Day and the days after it see shoppers back in the aisles again – more good news for retailers.
People live busy lives these days and time is tight, so they appreciate any help that retailers can give them. When shoppers are thinking about Christmas shopping and the rest of it, inspiration can strike in the middle of the night. That’s where multi-channel retailing comes into its own, with 24/7 access to the retailer’s online offerings in the different departments.
For many consumers, online shopping plays a growing part in solving the Christmas Challenge. The IGD estimates UK grocery sales online amounted to £4.8bn in 2010, 21% up on 2009, accounting for 3.2% of total UK grocery retail sales, with growth lifted by shoppers getting hip to the benefits of multi-channel grocery shopping. From personal experience, the proportion of Christmas shopping done online must be considerably higher.
The IGD says online grocery shoppers’ profile broadly follows that of Internet shoppers generally, skewed largely towards 25-44’s, particularly those with children.
The IGD also says that older shoppers are less likely to shop online. Over 65+’s account for more than one in five UK grocery shoppers but are just 13% of all online grocery shoppers, impacted largely by this age group’s lower Internet use.
That’s the picture now. However, as home shopping web sites get easier to use, and the home shopping experience continues to improve, we can expect Granny and Grandpa to get more confident about shopping on line, and to come multi-channel Christmas Shopping with the rest of us.
The Grocery Trader