Figures released by Experian, the global information services company, have revealed that Christmas 2012 was the biggest and busiest ever for online retailers in the UK.
Consumers set new records for online shopping on Christmas Eve and Christmas day with many shoppers taking advantage of early discounts. On Christmas Eve UK shoppers made 84 million visits to retail websites, and Christmas Day saw some 107 million online visits, up 86 per cent and 71 per cent respectively compared to the same days in December 2011.
Christmas Eve has been predicted to be bigger this year due to it falling on a Monday and being a half working day for much of the population, however the actual figures were far greater than the original predictions of a 32 per cent year on year increase.
Being able to take early advantage of sale discounts was a major draw for online shoppers with one in every 125 searches in the UK on Christmas Eve including the word 'sale' or 'sales'. The top search terms included 'next sale', 'debenhams sale', 'marks and spencer sale' and 'john lewis sale'.
Digital insight manager at Experian Marketing Services, James Murray, said the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day figures "could mean that ".
Murray added: "Christmas is proving to be a peak time for online shopping in the UK, so marketers need to make sure their campaigns are in place to maximise traffic on across these days in the future as consumers make the most of early sales offers: it’s worth promoting 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 over future festive seasons."