More people shopping online, but spending less

Celebrate the seasonal festivities with the gift of a simple snowflake
Celebrate the seasonal festivities with the gift of a simple snowflake

Hurrah! Online shopping has never been so popular, with 97 per cent of us promising to do at least some of our Christmas purchasing online.

Boo! Spending online this November is £300million down on the same period last year - and is unlikely to come up with a strong finish.

Two reports out today suggest that more of us than ever are shopping online, but spending less when we get there.

American price comparison site asked over 2,500 people about their Christmas shopping habits.

Shopping up, spending down

It found that over half of those surveyed intend to purchase more than half of their holiday gifts online this year, a 10 per cent increase from last year, with people liking the ease and speed of web shopping.

Money-saving plans including only buying stuff at sale prices (35 per cent of people), sticking to a budget (53 per cent) and the slightly bonkers doing-of-your-shopping-in-one-big-trip idea (31 per cent).

The hard financial data comes from internet metrics company ComScore, which tracked a four per cent decline in online spending in November so far, down to a mere $8.19billion (£5.3billion).

Until October, online sales had been running at nine per cent higher than 2007.

Here at, we're making all of our presents this year: everyone is getting either a fake Obama t-shirt or sculpture made out of pasta. It's going to be festive Yuletide fun!

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.