Department stores were the main beneficiaries online of the Spring sales, according to Hitwise
. While UK internet visits to the Hitwise Shopping and Classifieds parent category increased by just 0.9% for the week ending March 28, a custom category of 'traditional' high street department store websites (including websites such as John Lewis, Debenhams and Littlewoods) experienced a 21% increase.
Argos remains the most popular high street retailer online, and Debenhams saw the largest increase in visits (45.3%). Other notable gainers included Next (40.2%), Marks & Spencer (30.7%), and Littlewoods (18.7%).
'Next sale' was the most popular of all the 96,000 terms containing the word 'sale' that were searched for in the UK. Over the two weeks up to March 28, UK internet searches for 'next sale' increased 12-fold, while the terms 'marks and spencer sale' and 'debenhams sale' also experienced significant increases. Searches for the basic term 'sales' also doubled, with Littlewoods and Debenhams picking up the most traffic. But whilst Littlewoods paid for most of its traffic from the term, Debenhams relied exclusively on organic traffic.