Online Christmas shoppers are being warned to place their orders early as huge demand from delivery drivers raises fears gifts may arrive too late
- There has been a massive shift to online shopping for the second year in a row
- Around two-thirds of all gift purchases are made via the web, totaling over £35billion
- The change will place a huge burden on the messaging system
Online Christmas shoppers are being warned to place their orders early amid fears of huge demand for delivery drivers.
Fears over the Omicron variant threaten to detonate hopes of a high street revival with a massive shift to online shopping for the second straight year.
Families are expected to do their festive shopping online, with around two-thirds of all gift purchases being made via the web, a total of more than £35billion.
The change will place a huge burden on the courier system amid fears there may not be enough warehouse staff and van drivers to meet demand.
Concerns over deliveries have seen a number of high-profile retailers bring forward the delivery date customers can order to ensure items arrive before Christmas.
Online Christmas shoppers are warned to place their orders early amid fears of huge demand for delivery drivers
Home delivery experts ParcelHero say the arrival of Omicron means festive spending online is set to match last year’s figure of £35.26bn, as shoppers again become cautious about visiting their main streets.
Its head of research, David Jinks, said: “Last year the closure of non-essential stores during the November lockdown forced people to do much of their Christmas shopping on the web for the first time. … That made it the worst part of the high street – always the party season.
“We don’t expect a lockdown to return before Christmas this year, but shoppers are once again having to adjust to wearing masks in stores and becoming more cautious when in contact with other people.
“It means more Brits will be ordering online and sending gifts by post.”
Fears over the Omicron variant threaten to detonate hopes of a high street revival with a massive shift to online shopping for the second straight year
Although he said it was “good news for online retailers”, he added: “Given driver shortages, port delays and supply chain issues, a further increase orders could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back”.
Mr Jinks said some retailers – such as Boohoo and Harrods – have already brought forward their order dates and he expects others to follow suit.
Lisa Hooker, of PwC accountants, also said more than half of consumers had purchased “most of their gifts” by the end of last month.