Christmas has started with another helping of good news for retailers. Sales are expected to be the best since pre-crisis levels of 2007 with online sales forecast to reach £11.6bn this quarter, a 12% increase year on year.

Christmas has started with another helping of good news for retailers. Sales are expected to be the best since pre-crisis levels of 2007 with online sales forecast to reach £11.6bn this quarter, a 12% increase year on year.

As online channels (and particularly mobile) gather momentum, the way consumers shop and interact with retailers is changing.  Last Christmas, our research found the number of men leaving their shopping to the last minute halved – an unexpected consequence of the rise in mobile shopping.

Now research from Deloitte has found seven out of ten of us are armed with a smartphone, a figure that rises to nine out of ten for the influential 25-34 years old bracket. Furthermore, with tablets becoming more affordable as Tesco and Argos get into the game and offer cheaper alternatives, Christmas shopping behaviour will continue to evolve.

To respond, retailers need to bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds and offer a more seamless experience between the channels to help reinvigorate British high streets. One way of doing this is by using PayPal’s app technology to allow shoppers to pay with their mobiles in-store as well as online.

As we move towards a wallet-less future, in which consumers use their smartphones increasingly in their lives, we believe mobile payments (and the digital wallet) will play as big a role for retailers’ in-store sales as they do online.

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