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Shoppers set to cut Christmas spending by half

British shoppers plan to rein in their spending this Christmas with the average consumer expected to spend £298 on gifts, less than half of the £634 they splashed out last year.

The report by etailer Play.com found that women are expected to be most price sensitive, with 27% seeking to spend less this Christmas than last year, compared to a fifth of men.

When it came to special offers and vouchers women were most susceptible, with 58% stating this would encourage them to make a purchase compared to 44% of men.

The research also found free delivery was the most demanded retail service with 88% of shoppers stating it would influence a sale.

Some 42% of consumers spend 30 minutes to an hour looking for the perfect gift for friends and family. Women are most likely to deliberate before buying, with nearly a third admitting a purchase can take days while 39% of men wait until the final delivery days before Christmas to buy their final gifts.

Shingo Murakami, managing director at Play.com, said: “Around one in four shoppers said getting a good deal was very important to them at Christmas. However it’s important for retailers to remember a good deal is about more than a low price. Retailers need to offer incentives and rewards to customers, send reminders around key delivery dates and ensure the sales experience is as seamless as possible whatever retail channel shoppers use.”

Even with shoppers exercising caution, Christmas sales could generate around £220bn in revenue for retailers.

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