By Claire Reilly

As many as 72 per cent of Australians will be shopping for gifts online this Christmas, according to new research commissioned by Winning Appliances’ online branch, Appliances Online.

The “How We Shop” study was conducted by Galaxy Research and polled 1019 Australians aged 18 to 64 years in order to track Australian consumer spending habits around the festive season. According to the research, almost 20 per cent of those surveyed said they would do much – if not all – of their shopping online, while a further 52 per cent said they would do some online shopping.

By comparison, 12 per cent said they were unsure how they would shop over Christmas, and 16 per cent said they would not shop online.

In terms of popular categories of products, Music or books led the way (46 per cent), followed by fashion (36 per cent), small gifts (28 per cent), appliances (13 per cent), and TV or stereo products (12 per cent).

Speaking about the results, CEO and founder of Appliances Online and Big Brown box said that online shopping was a great proposition for consumers and retailers alike.

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“Over the past 12 months, the online retail marketplace has become increasingly competitive, meaning consumers will benefit from fantastic deals available online this Christmas.

“Despite the popularity of online shopping, our research suggests 17 per cent of Australians remain a bit nervous, or are not confident about shopping online. Therefore the Christmas season represents an opportunity for online retailers to impress consumers and do everything to ensure shoppers that buying online is convenient, cost-effective and hassle-free.

“Retaining customer loyalty online will be the biggest trend in the next 12 months, and it’s important for consumers to have the best online experience possible, starting this Christmas.”

“Given the popularity of shopping online consumers should do a quick 5-step check before buying from an online site to help avoid disappointment this Christmas,” Winning added.

These steps included reading testimonials on the site, checking delivery times and costs, and ensuring the site is secure. In addition, Winning suggested that concerned consumers could always call the store to get their questions answered.