Pure-play e-tailer Amazon UK maintained its position as the top ranking online shop in the IMRG Experian Hot Shop survey listing the UK’s most popular retail websites, it was announced this week.
Since the listing began in 2006, Amazon UK has reigned as the number one site, although the fastest moving retailer in the November edition of the chart was technology giant Apple.
Following the launch of the iPhone 4S, which was unveiled one day before the passing of co-founder and innovator Steve Jobs, the company’s web traffic has increased five-fold this quarter and has taken the number two position in the Hot Shop survey from Argos for the first time ever.
According to data from October 2011, Apple accounted for one in every 250 visits from UK internet users and James Murray, Marketing Research Analyst at Experian Hitwise, feels that the retailer’s strength could see it go head-to-head with competitor Amazon over the Christmas period, as shoppers flock to purchase the ever-popular iPad and the slightly cheaper Kindle.
“Online shopping is stronger than ever and year-on-year we’ve seen UK internet visits to the online retail category grow by three per cent, a trend we fully expect to continue throughout Christmas and the January sales period,” Murray added.
“We predict that Christmas 2011 will be another record-breaking year for the online retail sector. The UK spent 322 million hours shopping online in October 2011 and this is likely to increase to 350 million hours in December as people shop for their Christmas gifts.”
Despite the increasing consumer interest in gadgets and technology, the fashion sector is also witnessing an increase in web traffic. Fears that consumer interest in winter garments remains low due to unseasonably warm weather have proved unfounded as fashion retailer Very.co.uk jumped 19 places while H&M jumped 15, rising in the rankings to 22nd and 43rd place respectively.
Asos.com came 12th and jumped seven places, New Look’s ranking improved by three places to 13th, while Topshop leaped five places to 15th.
Ticketmaster saw one of the biggest improvements of the quarter, up 16 places in the Hot Shops list to stand at 20th position after seeing a 37 per cent increase in traffic thanks partly to reunions of bands Steps and the Stone Roses.
Shopping for children remains popular and Toys R Us jumped 15 places to 48th as traffic increased due to increasing interest in Lego and Peppa Pig.
Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, said: “IMRG is estimating that £3.72 billion will be spent online during the peak activity weeks of w/c November 28th and December 5th and, judging by the high risers in the Hot Shops list, fashion retailers could be the big performers this Christmas.”