Retailers across the UK are preparing for the busiest online shopping year of the day today as Cyber Monday gets under way.
Pure play e-tailer Amazon traditionally forecasts that the first Monday in December will be the busiest day of the year for online sales and data analyst group Experian recently predicted that British shoppers would spend a total of 15 million hours online today with some 115 million visits being made to retail websites, a 36 per cent rise on last year.
While high street retail sales have remained flat in recent weeks, multichannel retailers are braced for a surge in sales as the last pay cheque before Christmas drives consumer spend.
This year, Cyber Monday or Mega Monday is set to break records for online spend as retailers introduce online discounts and promotions on thousands of products to spur sales via laptop, tablet and mobile.
Chris North, Amazon’s Managing Director, said that the ever-evolving nature of technology is affecting shopping habits and explained the importance of being prepared for the rush.
“As people increasingly shop on mobile devices and benefit from fast broadband at home, we’re seeing a move towards customers buying their Christmas gifts later in the evening when they are at home relaxing,” he said.
“Monday December 3rd could be the busiest day in the history of Amazon.co.uk, and we’re preparing for it by hiring more than 10,000 seasonal employees across our eight UK fulfilment centres.”
Amazon is launching a fashion store later today dedicated to luxury products as it looks to enter the burgeoning luxury goods market and compete with fashion e-tailers worldwide thanks to the loyalty of its customers and strength of the brand.
A survey of 2,000 people conducted by OnePoll found that, although 28 per cent of consumers plan to spend more than £100, many are unwilling to shop online with unfamiliar retailers they do not trust.
However, for recognised retailers with a forward-thinking delivery strategy across the UK, the rewards are set to be higher than ever.
“Many shoppers are struggling financially this year, but we can see expectations are still at an all time high for Cyber Monday,” said Jean-Marc Noel, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Trusted Shops.
“It’s vital that retailers ensure their websites and teams are ready for what could be a record breaking day.”
As a result of this year’s Leap Year, Cyber Monday has fallen earlier than usual while Christmas Eve also falls on a Monday and Simon Jackson, Chief Commercial Officer at NetNames, expects that Mondays throughout December will prove popular with online shoppers.
“Online retailers in the UK are gearing up for the busiest day of the year with online retail spend set to hit over £420 million in the UK on Cyber Monday,” he commented.
“However, our research into the UK’s online shopping trends suggests that this Monday will only be the start of a record breaking four week period of e-commerce spend.
“Whilst we will see a surge in online traffic with over 110 million visits to online retail websites on December 3rd, Mondays will remain the most popular online shopping day throughout December and we will witness increased spending at the start of the week right up until Christmas Eve.
“However, it will be Boxing Day when the UK sees records broken and we predict that there will be 140 million visits to online retail sites and approximately £500 million spent as retailers launch post-Christmas sales in the UK.”