Christmas and Boxing Day break online retail records

Online retailers enjoyed a welcome boost following a December blighted by weather-related disruption with Christmas Day achieving record figures and Boxing Day proving to be the busiest online shopping day of the year.

The John Lewis website was the sixth most visited UK online retail outlet on Boxing Day
The John Lewis website was the sixth most visited UK online retail outlet on Boxing Day

Traditional High Street brands dominated the UK's top 20 most visited retail outlets, in figures from Experian Hitwise, joined by online giants including eBay, Amazon and iTunes.  

Hitwise recorded and 32% increase in traffic from Christmas Eve to Christmas day.  

Boxing Day managed to top this by 26%, recording a peak in traffic 12% higher than the previous busiest day, 5 December.  

Experian said department stores and fashion retailers accounted for 13 of the top 20 most visited retail websites in the UK yesterday, with consumer electronics and entertainment sectors also performing well.

Boxing Day's most popular UK retail websites by share of visits


 Rank  Website  Share (%)
 1  eBay UK
 2  Amazon UK
 3  Argos  3.53
 4  Next
 5  Your M&S
 6  John Lewis
 7  Currys  1.81
 8  Debenhams  1.71
 9  1.71
 10  Comet  1.40
 11  Tesco  1.10
 12  Tesco Direct
 13  River Island
 14  PC World
 15  0.80
 16  New Look
 17  House of Fraser
 18  0.76
 19  Asos  0.74
 20  Game  0.71


Source: Experian Hitwise

The Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) predicted consumers would part with up to £153m on Christmas Day, a period traditionally absolved from festive spending fever.

High Street stores are also enjoying good business. The Mirror reported up to £2.5bn was spent at packed stores and shopping centres across the UK yesterday alone.

The British Retail Consortium estimates £5billion will be spent in the sales this week, though today it warned retailers were bracing themselves for a difficult year ahead, with the majority predicting a decline on this year's levels.