Online retailers gear up for ‘Cyber Monday’

Are you already geared up for ‘Cyber Monday’?

Cyber Monday falls on Monday 6th December this year with research predicting that Britons plan to buy more gifts online than ever before. A survey by Peer 1 Hosting predicts the biggest ever peak in online shopping this Christmas, with £8.1bn to be spent online, with survey results showing that 88% of respondents in the United Kingdom will spend more online this year.

Cyber Monday is a term used to describe the first Monday in December, the peak of the Christmas shopping season, during which consumers generally spend more money on online purchases than they do any other time of the year. Consumers are likely to have searched for goods on the high street over the weekend and then used their high speed broadband connection at work to find and make cheaper purchases. Interestingly over half of the survey respondents said they actually found it easier to shop for Christmas gifts online compared to physically going to the shops in one of Britain’s high streets.

So if you haven’t done so already, you should be getting your search, media and social network campaigns tuned up and ready to go.

Last year, in a display of confidence against the recession, consumers spent more online on Cyber Monday than they did on the same day in the previous year. With the recession still biting Britain’s consumers, there had been heated speculation about how Cyber Monday 2009 would compare to that of 2008. Cyber Monday 2009, according to the IMRG (the trade body for online retailers) brought in sales of £417 million, with total sales for December over £5 billion, a 14% increase on 2008. Meanwhile Google reported that searches for “Christmas gifts” rose by 22%.

However Cyber Monday wasn’t the biggest online shopping day. Last year, according to Experian Hitwise, Boxing Day beat Cyber Monday to be the busiest online shopping day during 2009.

The second busiest day for online shopping was 27 December, followed by pre-Christmas shopping peaks such as Cyber Monday on 7 December. In 2008 Christmas Day itself was the seventh busiest online shopping day, but Experian Hitwise found it had dropped to 30th in 2009. Sales over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day increased by 36% last year, compared with 39% in 2008.

The top retailers to benefit from increased traffic after Christmas were mainly high street brands including Next, Currys, Debenhams, Tesco Direct and Comet. The week ending 26 December 2009 was the busiest week for high street retailers online, while pure-play retailers saw a decrease in visits.


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