November 15, 2007, 12:00 AM

Europeans plan to shop more online this holiday season

36% of consumers in the United Kingdom, Germany and France expect to spend more online this holiday season, while only 14% say they will spend less. Their overall holiday spending is likely to increase only slightly, according to the survey by comScore.


Consumers in three major European countries expect to spend only slightly more overall this holiday season, but many of them expect to spend more online, according to a survey by Internet measurement company comScore Inc.

36% of the consumers surveyed in the United Kingdom, Germany and France say they will spend more online this holiday season, while only 14% say they will spend less and 50% about the same. Asked about their overall plans for holiday spending, 20% said they plan to spend more this year than last, 18% less and 62% about the same.

“Online sales appear set to continue growing at a much faster rate than total retail sales and could be the difference between an OK and a great Christmas for some retailers,” says Bob Ivins, comScore executive vice president of international markets. “The popularity of online shopping is set to reach an all-time high this year, as time-squeezed consumers-armed with high-speed access and experience in the online channel-can be expected to spend more time shopping and buying Christmas gifts online.”

British consumers in particular are embracing the web, with 43% saying they plan to spend more online and 13% less. Among the French, 38% plan to spend more online and 12% less, and among Germans 29% expect to spend more and 15% less.

48% of UK respondents said they had started their Christmas shopping, compared with 36% of Germans and 19% of the French.

In terms of online payment methods, some form of debit from a bank account was most preferred in the UK (48%) and Germany (61%), while 76% of the French respondents said they would pay with credit cards. PayPal was the preferred way to pay of 20% of the UK consumers surveyed, compared with 14% in both Germany and France.

The survey was conducted online between Oct. 22 and 28.



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