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UK e-commerce sales peak on Cyber Monday

06 December 2011 - 09:46 by Simon Crisp

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The retail industry has been revelling in its analysis of this year's trends surrounding safe shopping online in the run-up to Christmas and it is expected that Monday was the busiest day of the year so far.

Amazon estimates that the number of people visiting its site yesterday was more than 19 per cent higher than during the same period last week.

In fact the peak period for e-commerce activity across the country was 9pm, when people were relaxing on their sofas with their laptops or tablets and trying to get the bulk of their Christmas shopping done, without having to trudge through the packed high streets.

Predictions suggest that typical UK consumers will purchase about 41 per cent of the Christmas-related products via safe shopping online during the 2011 season, which will make it the most significant year yet for e-commerce.

The other side of the coin is that high street outlets are going to be taking a significant hit that could see sales dip even lower than they did during the first flush of the recession back in 2008.

While growth is still predicted, it could be a modest two percent, even at the most optimistic end of the economic scale, while some economists are predicting that it will flatline at zero per cent.

A whole host of statistics are being bandied about in the wake of the e-commerce boom, with eBay stating that a million of its international listings are now made from smartphone devices each week and 300,000 new customers choose to bid on their first auction from their mobiles, rather than their traditional PCs.

The Guardian points out that 2011 will be the last Christmas period during which consumers can benefit from a tax loophole which lets them buy goods from the Channel Islands without paying VAT, provided they cost less than £18, as this is being sewn up in 2012.