UK consumers are expected to visit nearly 126 million sites on Boxing Day this year, a 31% increase from 2011.
According to Experian and IMRG, online retail visits will break Cyber Monday's record by an extra 14 million visits helping to generate a predicted £472.5m for online retailers.
Boxing day is predicted to become the busiest online shopping day in the UK consumers are predicted to spend 375 million hours shopping online by the end of the month.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are also predicted to have big outcomes with at least £225m expected to be spent online.
"Christmas 2012 is on track to be another record-breaker for online retail, outstripping 2011 on all fronts," commented James Murray, digital insight manager at Experian Marketing Services. "The current market trends suggest that in the UK, Wednesday 26th December will be the biggest day for online retail, with an estimated 126 million visits to online retail outlets and a massive 17 million hours spent online shopping on this day alone.
"This will be the peak of online shopping in the UK so marketers need to make sure their campaigns are in place to maximise traffic on Boxing Day as consumers make the most of early sales offers: it's not too late to promote special offers through email and social media. Understanding what people are interested in, the best channels to engage customers through and when to reach them will be crucial to success this season."
December 2011 broke online retail records when UK consumers made 2.18 billion visits to online retail sites and spent a total of 343 million hours shopping online.
Boxing Day accounted for 96.2 million visits to online retail sites, which had increased almost 20% from 2010.
"The post-Christmas sales period actually starts on Christmas Eve online and, judging by these forecasts, it certainly finds a willing audience," said Andrew McClelland, managing director for IMRG. "Accessing retailer websites through always-on devices such as smartphones and tablets provides consumers with an easy way to check about returning a gift, or download digital content directly onto that device. Indeed, retailers have been telling us that tablet devices are among the biggest sellers this year. As consumers encounter a range of discounts and offers already available in the sales on these sites, it is not surprising that consumers will spend over £300 million even on Christmas Day itself this year; online, the Christmas shopping never really stops."
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