Published Wednesday, 21 November 2012
More and more people are buying their Christmas gifts online. (© Getty)
According to research commissioned by Royal Mail, even more people are now planning to do their Christmas shopping online compared with last year.
And many people will also be splashing out more than in 2011, buying an average of 15 pressies for family and friends and spending £400 - around 36% more than they would have spent last year.
It's estimated that a whopping £4.6bn will be spent by online shoppers in the two weeks from 'Cyber Monday' (the busiest online shopping day) 3 December alone.
That means postal staff will have to be prepared for the festive boost, with Royal Mail opening eight dedicated parcel sort centres for the Christmas period.
"Online shopping is now such a key part of the Christmas shopping experience," Nick Landon, Royal Mail's Managing Director of Fulfilment, said.
"Customers can play their part in helping to get their presents and cards delivered on time by posting early and always using a correct postcode when sending their mail."
Customers can check postcodes for free at www.royalmail.com/postcode-finder.
According to Royal Mail's research, a quarter of people are aiming to start their Christmas shopping earlier this year and 60% will take longer to choose their gifts online.
Around 43% of those who already shop online with increase their purchases from websites, with about 57% making the same number of online purchases as last year.
In 2011, postmen and women delivered more online orders to people living in Co Antrim than anywhere else in Northern Ireland.
While Belfast topped the list of cities and towns in terms of the number of online shoppers, Londonderry was second and Newry third.
They were followed by Craigavon, Newtownards, Coleraine, Lisburn, Ballymena and Newtownabbey, with Enniskillen in 10th place.
Last Posting Dates: UK
- First Class - Thursday 20 December
- Second Class - Tuesday 18 December
- Special Delivery - Saturday 22 December
Last Posting Dates: International
- Asia, Far East, Australia, New Zealand - Wednesday 5 December
- South & Central America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East - Friday 7 December
- Eastern Europe, USA, Canada - Monday 10 December
- Western Europe - Wednesday 12 December
© UTV News