Boxing Day 2011 broke previous records to become the UK's best ever day for online shopping, according to Experian Hitwise monitoring. "Online retail websites received an astonishing 96 million UK Internet visits yesterday, 40 percent more than on Boxing Day last year (68 million visits)," said the company.
In a blog post, Hitwise analyst James Murray suggests that a "contributing factor to the record-breaking figures was that Boxing Day fell on a Monday this year". Monday is the peak day for online shopping, and the recent Cyber Monday "was the biggest pre-Christmas shopping day of the year".
Murray also noted a shift from shopping for electrical goods to fashion, with "bricks and clicks" retailers such as John Lewis, Your M&S and Tesco getting twice as many clicks as online only retailers. Perhaps people were spending Christmas gift vouchers or stocking up on food and booze for the New Year. Based on my own experience, they were also checking store opening times, and perhaps looking to see if there were any notable bargains in the sales. Either way, Hitwise notes that the gap between multi-channel and online only retailers narrowed compared with last year.
eBay.co.uk was the most popular site in Hitwise's Shopping and Classifieds category, with a 9.79 percent share of visits. Amazon.co.uk was second with 8.56 percent, well ahead of third-placed Argos (2.87 percent). The Top 20 table is below.
Source: Hitwise UK