UK internet users will make 113 million visits to retail websites on Cyber Monday (2 December) and spend a total 400 million hours shopping online this December, putting in on track to hit the "biggest ever" year for online retailers, according to Experian Hitwise.
In addition to Cyber Monday, Experian is predicting ‘Middle’ Cyber Monday to occur on Monday 9 December as Cyber Monday is early this year and people increasingly expect retailers to be able to deliver gifts closer to Christmas.
On ‘Middle’ Cyber Monday Experian anticipates over 110 million visits to retail websites, with the possibility that this date will eclipse Cyber Monday itself.
Of the total 400 million hours to be spent online shopping, the average consumer will spend eight hours browsing, researching and buying presents online this December, a 7.5 per cent increase year on year.
During December three billion visits will go to online retail websites, representing seven per cent growth and the first time the UK has reached this benchmark. A total of 150 million retail transactions are predicted to take place in December, totting up a spend of £10.5 billion on online shopping.
“This Christmas is going to be the biggest ever in terms of online retail visits and December 2013 should be the first month that the UK reaches the three billion benchmark for visits to retail websites. What we don't expect to see this year is the well-defined peaks and troughs of shopping activity over Christmas.
"With the growth of mobile and the ease of quick one-click shopping, we expect to see the homogenisation of shopping days as consumers are less confined in their shopping habits,” commented James Murray, digital insights manager at Experian Marketing Services.
Of the advice to brands and advertisers, Murray said: “Marketers need to ensure their campaigns address the cross-channel behaviours of today’s consumers and offer a seamless experience whether their customers are shopping on the high street or on the go. For consumers this means an ever more convenient shopping experience, personalised to their needs.”
Despite huge traffic on both Cyber Monday and ‘Middle’ Cyber Monday, the biggest day for online shopping is predicted to be Boxing Day (26 December), where UK Internet users will make 115 million visits to retail sites, an increase of two per cent year-on-year.