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More Than 50% Of UK Shoppers Expecting To Buy More Online This Year

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The effects of Covid-19 are expected to impact the Christmas arrangements of four in 10 (42%) people, with almost one third (31%) leaving plans to the last minute and 43% claiming they won’t be able to spend Christmas Day with all of the people they’d like to, according to new research by Post Office.

The disruptions from the pandemic mean that more than a fifth (22%) have already decided they will be sending Christmas gifts through the post rather than giving them in person this year. Exchanging gifts face-to-face might not be an option due to the unpredictable tier and travel restrictions across the country.

Adding to this, over half (51%) say they’ll buy more presents online this year, with nearly a third (30%) admitting they usually end up returning some gifts they purchase through online shopping. Despite this, only a quarter (24%) said they would start to prepare for Christmas earlier this year, pointing to a potential scramble at the last minute as almost half (47%) say they make online purchase returns via the Post Office.

Post Office has over 10 million customers sessions a week, during the Christmas peak this increases by over 50% to over 15 million. With more people planning to post gifts this year and an anticipated surge in online purchases and potential returns, Post Office is urging the public to plan ahead of a Christmas rush, whilst staying safe. Post Office is tuned into the fact that nearly half (48%) of people admit to feeling nervous about queueing indoors due to Covid-19, so social distancing has been implemented safely across all branches since the beginning of the pandemic.

Mark Siviter Managing Director of Mails & Retail at Post Office said: “We know this Christmas will be unlike any most of us have ever experienced, but our desire to show loved ones we care about them through cards and gift giving hasn’t diminished. Our data reveals that two-thirds (66%) of people will rely on posting gifts and cards to the same or more family members and friends they are unlikely to see in person. We know we’ll be extra busy this year and there will be extra Christmas helpers in branch to support. We are also urging everyone to plan ahead by posting early and visiting branches during off-peak hours where possible.”

Five tips to Covid-proof your Christmas gift sending include: 

  • Start your posting early. This will not only make sure your parcels reach your loved ones on time, but also means you’re less likely to be caught in queues as we expect more people than ever to be posting gifts in branches this year. If posting parcels overseas then it is also important to check the last posting dates for these destinations: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/last-posting-dates

  • Visit us at a quieter time, that suits you. Branches will be sharing details of their quieter times with posters in their windows and through their google page. You can use our Branch Finder tool to find out about your local branch and check when branches are open at a time that suits you. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are generally quieter and are likely to be the best times to visit in the run up to Christmas.

  • Let our postage experts help. Our trained and friendly postage experts are on hand to help you choose the right postage for parcels to ensure your gift reaches its destination correctly and on time. If in doubt, just check with them.

  • Make sure any cards and parcels are addressed clearly. It’s important to try and do this in advance of your visit. Don’t use full stops or commas and start each line on the left. You can find our guide to addressing mail, including international items, on our website.

  • Visit our branches safely. We are doing everything we can to keep our branches open and safe during the pandemic, especially in the run up to Christmas. We ask all customers to follow the guidance provided by staff and abide by social distancing during their visit. 

The research was conducted by Censuswide for the Post Office. A nationally representative survey of 2,028 UK adults aged 18+ was conducted from 16th– 19thOctober 2020. 

Source : Post Office

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03 November 2020

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