According to Experian, Christmas 2012 is expected to be the biggest and busiest year for online retailers in the UK.

Using insights from Experian’s competitive intelligence tool Hitwise, they predict the biggest day of the year pre-Christmas for online sales is expected to be Monday 3rd December, the UK’s “Cyber Monday”.

“Cyber Monday” takes place today in America, retailers will offer huge discounts to lure consumers to purchase from them. The term “Cyber Monday” was coined in America after it became the biggest online shopping day of the year, the marketing term is now adopted worldwide.

Experian expects the UK will make 115 million visits to online retailers, 36% more than last year’s “Cyber Monday” which saw 84.6 million visits, with 28% of these visits going to eBay and Amazon.

Last years biggest online shopping day was on Boxing Day with 92 million visits to retail sites, up 19.5% year on year.

Christmas Eve usually tends to be a slow day for sales, however Christmas Eve falls on a Monday this year, “click and collect” retailers will see an extra boost in retails sales as consumers pick up their last minute Christmas gifts.

Digital Insight Manager at Experian Marketing Service, James Murray says it is not too late for email and social media “Cyber Monday” campaigns, “The current market trends suggest that in the UK, Monday 3rd December will be the biggest pre-Christmas day for online retail, with an estimated 115 million visits to online retail outlets and a massive 15 million hours spent online shopping on this day alone.

“This will be the peak of pre-Christmas shopping in the UK so marketers need to make sure their campaigns are in place to maximise traffic on Cyber Monday: 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 Christmas.”


Smartphones are expected to play a key part in Christmas sales, financial firm Deloitte says £3.2bn of in-store sales will be influenced by smartphones, with another £330m sales made directly through the devices. A further £500m in sales will be made via tablets.

Colin Jeffrey, head of multichannel retail at Deloitte, says: “As with recent years, the strongest growth will be found online, with purchases completed on mobile phones double or even triple that of last year. It is also going to be a click-and-collect Christmas with those retailers who have invested in this service in line to do well as these customers spend more and collections drive footfall in to stores. Retailers without flexible collection options and mobile services are failing to meet basic customer expectations and will suffer as a result.”

Interestingly retailers are also beginning use social media as a forecasting tool to try and predict demand for their products by monitoring the buzz on social networks, “We are also beginning to see the power of social commerce with more and more consumers using Twitter and Facebook to share reviews, offers and product information. Retailers are also starting to use social media as a forecasting tool, monitoring buzz around certain products to predict demand” adds Jeffrey.

According to Mojiva 2012 Holiday Mobile Audience Guide (MAG), consumers are most likely to purchase toys and games (51%), clothing (46%) and electronics (44%) via their smartphones.

Consider purchasing holiday gifts using their smartphone

The report also reveals over half (55%) of all UK respondents think their smartphones will be most helpful for finding out about product information.

Retailers should also be aware of gender difference, more than half (55%) of UK female respondents will be using their smartphones to look for discounts and sale information, compared to just 39% of the UK male population.

Retailers without a strong multichannel presence will surely miss out on tremendous seasonal sales potential.

Lea Pachta

Lea Pachta