Boxing Day was ‘biggest day ever for online retail in UK’


UK consumers made 113 million visits to retail websites on Boxing Day, a 17% increase on last year, while Brits spent a combined total of 14 million hours shopping online the day after Christmas, according to new research. Insights taken from the Experian Hitwise online competitive intelligence tool, show that Boxing Day 2012 was the biggest and busiest ever for online retailers in the UK.

New records had already been set for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as consumers went online in their droves to buy last minute Christmas gifts and take advantage of early discounting.
UK Internet users made 84 million visits to retail websites on Christmas Eve and 107 million visits on Christmas Day up an astonishing 86% and 71% respectively compared to the same days in December 2011.

UK consumers spent 14 hours online and made an astonishing 113 million visits to online retail sites yesterday, a 17% increase from last year, however 13 million visits lower than previously predicted.

The ‘sales creep’ and early discounting in some of Britain’s major stores can be attributed to an increase in visits on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day impacting yesterday’s online visit numbers.

High volumes of visits ahead of Boxing Day can also be attributed to consumers becoming savvier in their sales shopping strategies, using the internet to research the best deals before heading to the high street to purchase.

James Murray, Digital Insight Manager at Experian Marketing Services commented; “Boxing Day set a new British record for online shopping with 113 million visits going to retail websites in a single day. However, with a number of the major retailers bringing their sales forward to Christmas Eve, the impact of that was that Boxing Day was slightly muted and not as prolific as we forecast. Christmas Eve has traditionally been one of the poorest performing days of December for online retailers, but this year there were 84 million visits – on a par with last year’s Cyber Monday. The UK ‘sales creep’ continues to advance so that now the post-Christmas sales are starting before Christmas! 5 years ago we called it the January sales, before it became the Boxing Day sales, now retailers have to call it the winter sales as discounting starts earlier to encourage higher spending. “

Overall this is still the biggest Christmas online ever and should finish 30% ahead of last Christmas in terms of visits.

Source: Experian Hitwise

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