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Full festive e-commerce figures published

28 February 2012 - 10:22 by Paul Tissington

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Experian Hitwise has revealed details about the Christmas shopping period of 2011, putting concrete figures on the shopping habits of UK consumers during the busiest period of the year for retail.

Boxing Day was not only the busiest 24 hour period for safe shopping online of December, but 2011 as a whole. Ninety-six million hits were recorded by e-commerce sites in the UK and the online boom continued well into January.

In the last month of the year, approximately 343 million hours were spent conducting online shopping by the UK's particularly active e-commerce consumer base.

Spokesperson, James Murray, said that online-only retailers like Amazon and Play.com have traditionally lagged behind established high street brands that also have a presence in the e-commerce market.

However, he pointed out that some retailers who operate purely via safe shopping online have been able to make significant gains, such as fashion outlet, ASOS and DVD rental/video streaming service, LoveFilm.

Amazon's UK site topped the tables when it came to traffic in December and Argos was able to reclaim second place after it was briefly succeeded by Apple in November of 2011. Apple remained in third, ahead of supermarket chain Tesco and Amazon's US site.

Travel companies experience something of a resurgence towards the end of 2011, with booking firms like Expedia and TravelRepublic managing to jump up several places, making double digit increases on performance in previous months.

The total online market for travel grew by 16 per cent year on year, despite the fact that 2011 was seen as a tough period for the industry as a whole. In the first month of 2012 there was a major shift towards consumer electronics, with multichannel retailers like Comet, PC World and Currys all rising up the ranks, thanks to increased consumer activities on their websites.