eBay are expecting the next two Sundays to be the busiest online days for Christmas present buying. They’re expecting 5 million visitors on 29th Nov and 6th Dec, with sales expected to peak at 14 gifts sold per second – that’s a million Christmas presents sold each day on the site.
In the mean time, across the pond in America, eBay have been tracking Black Friday sales and mapped where each buyer is located. Black Friday follows Thanksgiving Day in the United States and marks the start of their Christmas shopping season. It’s one of the busiest online shopping days of the year in the US with eBay attracting just over a million sales.
What struck me was that UK sales predictions are also for about a million sales on each of the peak shopping days – The US population is 5 times size of the UK so why are they not getting 5 times as many sales as the UK?
eBay UK are streets ahead of the US in maximising sales per head of population and 86% of the UK are due to do some or all of their Christmas shopping online this year. According to a YouGov survey commissioned by VeriSign most people will spend about a third of their total holiday spend on the Internet.
What’s less encouraging is regardless of the best price often being online, Verisign found 1 in 4 still hold back their Internet spend with worries about online ID theft and fraud. Unsurprisingly following the recent postal strikes, 27% are also concerned that goods bought online will not arrive in time for Christmas.
What’s certain is that, despite the effects of the recession and some buyers concerns about security, the Christmas selling season should remain strong in the UK, with more people buying online than ever before.