Almost half (48 per cent) of British internet users are set to cut back on Christmas present spending and instead turn to the internet, a survey has said.

Research by Twenga found that of the 3,000 internet users polled across six European countries – including the UK – 42 per cent of respondents intend to spend less on Christmas this year than in 2007.

Despite the cutbacks, the study found that Brits still remain the largest spenders in Europe, aiming to spend 40 per cent of the average £356 Christmas shopping budget online.

Possibly hinting that online marketing strategies should appeal towards shopping search engines, Bastien Duclaux, director general of Twenga, said: “In this time of financial crisis, consumers are turning to the internet and price comparison sites like Twenga in order to regulate their spending without cutting down on Christmas presents and festive celebrations.”

The research also found that 81 per cent intend to compare prices online before buying gifts, whether from the internet or on the high street, with 60 per cent of the British respondents reported plans to make more purchases online.

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