UK to spend £11.5 billion online this Christmas

Budget cuts and tightening of wallets is set to go out the window over the busy Christmas period, with a  survey by Dynamic Markets revealing that UK consumers will spend £11.5 billion online, although Card Not Present (CNP) downtime could hinder some sales.

The massive spending frenzy is a 28.8 percent increase on 2009, which was a bad year for many people and businesses, and suggests that the worst of the economic downturn, at least in spending, could be behind us.

Mega Monday, hosted on December 6 and the UK’s equivalent of the US‘ Cyber Monday, saw a 20 percent increase in spending on last year, with £831,000 spent in just a single minute online.

It’s not all fun and games, however, when CNP becomes involved. 55 percent of online merchants who took part in the survey, which numbered 200 outlets, said that they suffered downtime to their CNP payment systems on most months, which totalled an average of 72.8 hours or over three days offline in a year.

The report found that 46 percent of non-finance directors did not know how much downtime occurred, while 79 percent of finance directors blamed the downtime on fragmented and outdated payment processing systems.

61 percent of Managing Directors and CEOs were interested in finding answers to the CNP problem, including switching to alternate CNP providers who employ newer, more reliable technology.

The research also found January sales are expected to be strong, despite a 2.5 percent increase in VAT.