It is expected that visits to UK retail websites will reach 126 million on Boxing Day, with a prediction of £472.5m being spent, according to Experian and IMRG.
The research predicts that sales will be 31 per cent up from 2011, as well as an increase of 14 million visits from the recent Cyber Monday.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are also predicted to be big online spending days, the research states, with consumers expected to spend £225 million and £307 million respectively on these days.
James Murray, digital insight manager at Experian Marketing Services, said: “Christmas 2012 is on track to be another record-breaker for online retail, outstripping 2011 on all fronts.
“The current market trends suggest that in the UK, Wednesday 26th December will be the biggest day for online retail, with an estimated 126 million visits to online retail outlets and a massive 17 million hours spent online shopping on this day alone. This will be the peak of online shopping in the UK so marketers need to make sure their campaigns are in place to maximise traffic on Boxing Day as consumers make the most of early sales offers: it’s not too late to promote special offers through email and social media. Understanding what people are interested in, the best channels to engage customers through and when to reach them will be crucial to success this season.”
Andrew McClelland, managing director at IMRG, added: “The post-Christmas sales period actually starts on Christmas Eve online and, judging by these forecasts, it certainly finds a willing audience. Accessing retailer websites through always-on devices such as smartphones and tablets provides consumers with an easy way to check about returning a gift, or download digital content directly onto that device. Indeed, retailers have been telling us that tablet devices are among the biggest sellers this year. As consumers encounter a range of discounts and offers already available in the sales on these sites, it is not surprising that consumers will spend over £300 million even on Christmas Day itself this year; online, the Christmas shopping never really stops.”
The figures show that overall, UK consumers will spend 375 million hours shopping online in December 2012, 32 million more hours than were spent in 2011: an increase of nine per cent.