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December 7, 2009

Online shoppers spend spend spend

£417m worth of gifts bought today on the Internet

By Vinod

Today will be the busiest online Christmas shopping day with festive shoppers expected to fork out £417million on gifts.

The first Monday in December is generally the busiest shopping day in the whole festive period. According to a Kelkoo-sponsored study, Christmas 2009: Blue Skies Or Storm Clouds, 20p in every pound spent this Christmas will be online – a 24% increase on the ‘Black Christmas’ of 2008 which saw sales plummet by £27m. Overall, Christmas sales are forecast to hit £44.7bn, an increase of £832m over last year’s figures. Research from the Internet Measurement Research Group (IMRG) predicted that 93% of UK shoppers would buy some presents online this year.

Kelkoo estimated that 2015 would be the first truly online Christmas, when more than 50% of sales would be made over the Internet.

The busiest time is lunch hour between 1 and 2pm, but hosting specialists Hostway warned that companies risked missing out on the shopping bonanza if their websites couldn’t cope with the traffic spikes.

“Just as stores on the high street hire extra workers at Christmas, so online stores should invest in extra infrastructure to cope with increased demand,” said Neil Barton, director of Hostway.

Websites containing many images or videos were particularly vulnerable and needed to invest in traffic management and content caching solutions to ensure their websites were speedy enough to keep customers from trying a competitor site.

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