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Online sales surge expected today

Retailers are preparing for the busiest online shopping day of the year amid predictions of a record Christmas trading period despite the latest figures showing sluggish sales in November.

BDO’s monthly high street tracker revealed a 0.2 cent fall in sales in November, as shoppers stayed away from high streets but Don Williams head of retail at the firm said that Christmas could still outperform last year.

Williams says: “People will not cancel Christmas. They are just following the trend of the Christmas period getting later every year thanks to extended opening hours and better online shopping services, and the atrocious weather has just given them another reason to delay their festive shopping.”

Today, dubbed Mega Monday, is expected to be the busiest online shopping day of the year with sales are expected to reach £1bn. Credit card firm Visa expects 6.8 million online transactions within the next 24 hours, with shoppers spending £320m on its cards alone.

Experian Hitwise forecasts a 36 per cent rise in web traffic today as more than 115million visits to websites are made.

Marks & Spencer also expects today to be its busiest day online and John Lewis, which claims last week was the third best week in sales it has ever seen, expects to see a further surge in online sales today and an “unprecedented” volume of customers using its click and collect service.

Speaking to Marketing Week ahead of the weekend, Carrie Bienkowski, head of buyer experience at eBay said the online retailer was “very optimistic” about Christmas performance this year. Bienkowski predicted Sunday (2 December) would be its busiest day online with more than 6 million visitors.

Ebay expects half of all UK online shoppers to visit its online marketplace this month.

Source : Rosie Baker - Marketing Week
http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/mega-monday-follows-sluggish-november-sales/4005001.article

03 December 2012
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