Sunday 6 and Monday 7 December were the joint busiest days of the year so far for online retail, according to online competitive intelligence service Experian Hitwise. While everyone expected 'Cyber Monday' to set the online checkouts ringing, it is interesting that the day before was equally important in terms of traffic.
"Many consumers spend time browsing and comparing products and prices on the Sunday, before making their actual purchases on Cyber Monday itself," commented Robin Goad, research director at Experian Hitwise.
Most of the top 10 websites that experienced the largest increases in visits when comparing this year's peak in traffic (December 6) to last year's (November 30) were either department stores or supermarkets. Amazon UK experienced the biggest increase in visitors between the two dates, and was joined in the top 10 by high street names including Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and Littlewoods.
"The popularity of established names and stores with a high street presence the closer we get to Christmas clearly illustrates a preference for multiple delivery and dispatch options," says Goad. "For retailers to win trust at this time of year they must provide customers with both flexibility and security in this area."
"Retailers have been determined to learn from mistakes made last year by investing in a more focused multi-channel strategy this year — offering both online and off-line order fulfilment," adds Jonathan De Mello, Experian's director of retail consultancy. "The more traditional bricks and mortar retailers have invested heavily in their websites and this has clearly paid off for them, as they have managed to substantially increase their online 'share of wallet."