Dec. 2 - Cyber Monday is expected to be the UK's busiest web shopping day of 2013 with more than half of all Christmas shopping likely to be done online this year. Hayley Platt looks at the growing trend of shopping direct.
Christmas is one of the busiest periods for digital printing company Photobox. It will dispatch around 2.5 million parcels, that's 2-3 items per second before the big day. Stan Laurent is the company's CEO. SOUNDBITE: Stan Laurent CEO Photobox, saying (English): "Christmas is about a third of our business overall so we sell a very emotional product so they're very suitable for an event like Christmas and we'll probably grow solid double digit percentage growth at Photobox and all of the brands." This Christmas is set to be a record breaker in the UK. Shoppers are expected to spend 1.4 billion pounds more than last year. Total spending will increase 3.5 percent adding more than 40 billion pounds to the economy. Half of that will be from online sales - which is expected to increase by a fifth to 5 billion pounds. And shoppers are getting better at finding bargains too - using the internet in new ways. SOUNDBITE: Kimberley shopper saying (English): "I spend a lot of time looking around. I look at different sites I check a lot of different websites." SOUNDBITE: Ciara, shopper, saying (English): "I'll type it in on Google and Google shop it instead coz it filters all the prices from Tesco Amazon, Play." SOUNDBITE: Lee, shopper saying (English): "See something you want on the high street go touchy feelie, which is what I love, then go an buy it online." Amazon is of course a favourite with internet shoppers. But even it's being side-stepped by some as shoppers choose to buy direct from the supplier. A recent change in policy means retailers who already sell their products on Amazon can sell them cheaper direct if they wish. That's leading to a bargain-hunting frenzy says Planet Retail's Malcolm Pinkerton. SOUNDBITE: Malcolm Pinkerton, Planet Retail, saying (English): "It's not just about shopping via Amazon, it's seeking out the best deal maybe on Amazon and then going and buying it directly from the retailer or even going and buying it instore if they're price matching. So the consumer is very very switched on and very empowered, so it's not it's not just about finding the best price it's finding out who's got that." Amazon's fighting back. It's testing unmanned drones to deliver parcels to customers. The so-called Octocopers will be able to deliver packages weighing up to 2.3 kg within 30 minutes of an order being placed. The Prime Air service comes as Amazon looks to improve growth by efficiency. But it won't be coming anytime soon - it's likely to be 5 years before it's up and running.