Britain one of the most mature online markets in Europe research reveals
Research from property advisor CBRE found that many European consumers chose to do their Christmas shopping over the internet in 2011, despite retail sales remaining fairly flat throughout this period overall
The UK performed better than expected, with the volume of retail sales increasing by 2.6 per cent year on year in December 2011, according to the report. However, it noted that this figure may be artificially inflated to some degree by the heavy snowfall which affected trading over the course of 2010's Christmas period.
CBRE also identified Britain as one of the most mature online markets in Europe along with the Czech Republic, noting that it has one of the highest proportions of consumers who wish to use the internet for shopping.
Britain also saw the sharpest growth in online sales over this period, along with Russia and Sweden.
Neville Moss, head of EMEA retail research, said several key trends have emerged from analysis of last year's Christmas shopping data, noting that shoppers appeared to wait until the last minute to purchase their gifts in a bid to take advantage of discounting from retailers.
"Our research suggests that shoppers are increasingly taking advantage of the advances in mobile technology, ease of delivery, and of course the opportunity to avoid the festive crowds," added Mr Moss.
He added that multichannel retailers such as John Lewis in the UK are increasingly best-placed to take advantage of a marketplace in which the lines between online and offline shopping are becoming largely blurred.
"The challenge for retailers is to combine the customer service provided by the physical store, with the convenience of online, social and mobile platforms," Mr Moss explained