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6pm December 2 set to be pre-Christmas peak

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Earlier this week we reported on IMRG’s prediction that December 2 would be the biggest day for pre-Christmas online shopping. Now has gone a step further and put a time on the peak , predicting that most orders will arrive at 6pm as shoppers finish work.

It points to its experience last year, when more than 3.5m items were ordered over its site on Cyber Monday 2012 – which fell on December 3. That’s a rate of 41 items a second and saw delivery lorries leave one of Amazon’s eight UK fulfillment centres every two minutes 10 seconds.

This year it’s hiring more than 15,000 people across the UK to help deal with the demand.

“The expected peak in sales at 6pm on Cyber Monday is interesting as traditionally sales have spiked later in the evening. In fact, in 2011, sales peaked at 9.20pm,” said Xavier Garambois, vice president of EU retail at Amazon . “The earlier rush indicates that people will be using their commute to get a head start on their shopping or logging on as soon as they get home, so they can relax in the knowledge that their Christmas shopping is done.”

Amazon predicts that its biggest UK week, however, will be that starting on Monday November 25, when it launches its week of Black Friday deals.

But if December 2 is the pre-Christmas online shopping peak, it’s from a long, slow climb of interest in Christmas online, according to retail search engine Twenga. It analysed three years’ worth of traffic for Christmas decorations, from 2011 to the current year, and found that browsers started to search for the term at the end of July this year, earlier than in 2011 and 2012, when that started to show up in the middle of August.

Twenga reached this conclusion by comparing twenty different types of Christmas decorations, from a Christmas bauble to a Nativity scene, between the periods of 15 July – 15 October in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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