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2011's busiest e-commerce day coincides with strikes

20 January 2012 - 10:28 by Mike Price

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Figures published by telecoms provider BT suggest that more Brits used safe shopping online during November 30th than on any other day last year.

What makes this fact particularly interesting is that this e-commerce boom coincided with the widespread strikes in the public sector, according to The Telegraph.

Although the total number of people who were protesting at cuts to pensions and public services that day is not known, it is estimated that around a million people across the country stayed at home or took to the streets.

Traditionally, the first Monday of December is the most hectic e-commerce period because people are buying all of the things they need in time for Christmas, but the strikers used their time off wisely to carry out safe shopping online and stock up for the festive season.

The internet was not the only place abuzz with activity, as high street retailers reported a seven per cent increase in footfall.

Compared to November 30th 2010, there were 45 per cent more people enjoying online shopping on the same day last year, with the total jump reaching 163 per cent of the average day for e-commerce.

BT spokesperson, Richard Vining, pointed out that the surge could not be caused by those striking alone and explained that many people were unable to get to work due to the action and were either working from home or taking time off, allowing them more leeway to access online retailers in large numbers.

BT believes that the total increase in the number of people using online shopping last year was around 58 per cent, but consumers are actually reigning in the amount they spend on each transaction, which meant that, in total, sales only rose in value by 32 per cent over the past 12 months.