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Apple closing on Amazon in Christmas e-commerce race

24 November 2011 - 14:08 by Simon Crisp

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The UK's e-commerce market is getting particularly competitive ahead of the festive period, with tech firm Apple seeing its site jump into the number two spot just behind Amazon in terms of web traffic.

Figures published by IMRG, show that Apple has experienced a quintupling of visitor numbers to its portal for safe shopping online following the release of the iPhone 4S and the sad passing of its former founder, Steve Jobs.

Last month one UK web user out of every 250 visited the Apple website, allowing it to leap into contention for taking the highest position in the Hot Shops list published by analysts.

The Hot Shops league has been in operation for five years and Amazon has been able to hold on to the number one spot ever since its inception, with other major UK retailers, such as Argos and Tesco, vying for improved e-commerce positioning.

Amazon and Apple are being touted as the UK's two most significant brands when it comes to safe shopping online.

Both Amazon and Apple have a tablet device on their books in the form of the Kindle Fire and iPad 2 respectively, with shoppers expected to boost Kindle sales this year because of its lower price point.

Experian Hitwise's James Murray, said that while November and December are being seen as key periods for online shopping in the UK, the growth of the industry is anticipated to continue strongly when the January sales begin after the festive season.

Last month about 322 million hours were spent on e-commerce sites by UK consumers and next month this could leap higher to 350 million, indicating just how significant an impact the web is having on shopping habits. Where and when these hours are put in will be a concern for employers.