Online shopping surpasses previous records this Christmas
27 December 2010 - 20:45 by Simon Crisp
Those who started shopping online on Christmas Day and Boxing Day have helped to make it the best year on record for sites which offer safe shopping online.
This news comes as no surprise to industry analysts who, last week, predicted that millions would take to their computers just as millions head to the high street. The unifying fact about all these consumers is that they are in the market for a post-Christmas bargain, while the sales are rife and the VAT is being held at its current rate, ahead of a January rise.
Figures show that there was a 32 per cent increase in the number of people visiting e-commerce sites between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, echoing the impact on bricks and mortar retailers on the high street.
The websites which sat at the top of the charts in terms of visitor numbers were Amazon and eBay, the latter of which is hugely popular among people looking to sell unwanted gifts or bag a bargain. High street chains like Argos and Marks & Spencer were also drawing the crowds online, with people assailing search engines to find out about the best deals offered by these outlets.
According to analysts at Experian Hitwise, the most commonly searched-for gift over the Christmas period has been the iPad from Apple, followed by the iPod Touch and thirdly by Amazon's Kindle e-Reader.
Experts claim that it is advertising which has caused such a frenzy for safe shopping online, allowing consumers to get excited about budget prices being applied on the internet, just as they would expect to see if they were to brave the crush on the high street.
Electronics retailer Currys was so inundated with web traffic that its site was brought to a standstill and digital queues formed, for which the retailer was forced to apologise.