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Customers opt for retailers who deliver on time

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A strong track record in delivering on time will set apart the retailers that succeed between now and Christmas, according to new research from Experian Hitwise.

Companies who are known for getting the goods to the customer promptly will continue to attract traffic while their rivals see business slowing, says the market intelligence company.

Robin Goad, director of research at Experian Hitwise, said: “From now until Christmas, traffic to online retail sites tends to decline as there are fewer days left to deliver goods. However those companies with a solid reputation for delivering on time will continue to see strong demad throughout December.

“Equally there is a great opportunity for retailers to tap into digital offers to encourage in-store footfall as well as traffic to their web sites.

“Incentives such as online special offers redeemable in store, guaranteed store delivery and post-sales customer care are all effective ways to gain a competitive edge.”

According to its figures, both Sunday December 5 and Monday December 6, known as Mega Monday, were the busiest days so far for visits to online retail sites. Contrary to expectations, says Hitwise, Sunday was the busier day of the two.

Together, however, says Hitwise, the two are expected to retain their position as retail’s busiest pre-Christmas shopping days.

Over these two days, researchers found, the most-searched for product was Lego, while Apple had six products in the top 20, led by the Apple iPad.

The other big gadget of the year was Amazon e-reader the Kindle, in 14th place in the top 20 Christmas products list.

And among consoles, most searches were directed at finding the PlayStation 3, ahead of both the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360.

eBay was the most visited retail site, with twice as many visits on Sunday as second-placed Amazon. Argos and were also among the top five retailers, while coupon site Groupon was the fifth-fastest moving website.

Robin Goad, director of research at Experian Hitwise, said: “Retail has been growing consistently year on year in the UK and this Christmas we would expect visits to retail sites to be about 10% higher than last year. The big winners this Christmas are Lego, Apple, Nintendo and boot manufacturers. Searches for Ugg boots and Hunter Wellies show how much the cold spell has affected people.”

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