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According to a new survey,  93% of consumers are planning to do at least some of their shopping online this Christmas, with 71% planning to buy more than half of their gifts on the web.

The survey by eDigitalResearch and IMRG reveals that more people are planning to shop online this year, and now that the threat of Royal Mail strike action has receded, there is some cause for optimism for online retailers.

The survey asked 2,804 people about their shopping habits in the run up to Christmas, and broadly echoes the findings of a similar study from eBay Advertising, which found that 85% of consumers intend to maintain or increase their online shopping this year.

Some highlights from the survey:

Online product and price research

88% of shoppers plan to research online before before buying online, while a similar amount use the internet to research purchases they plan to make offline, at least sometimes:

Use of mobiles for research and purchases

While the numbers of people using their mobiles for shopping and research is relatively small, it is growing, and mobiles clearly have theirs uses for online shoppers.

While around 12% had used mobiles to shop online for products, and a further 12% intended to do so, more are using their phones' internet browsers for product and price research.

While around 25% had used their mobile for researching products before purchase, almost 20% use their phones while in store to check for price and product information.

Factors affecting online purchase decisions

Not surprisingly, price has the biggest influence on purchase decisions when shopping online, followed by the range of products on offer, and delivery concerns.

This survey was carried out before the Royal Mail strike, but its interesting to see how the threat of strikes affected consumer confidence around delivery.

While the vast majority were still fairly or very confident that their purchases would arrive, a significant proportion (around 35%) were either unsure or not very confident that gifts would be delivered on time, which could have been enough to put a dent in etailers' sales figures this year.

Graham Charlton

Published 9 November, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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