E-tailer visits up by a third

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Bumper Christmas for online marketing

Online retailers have seen traffic rise by more than a third in the run-up to Christmas, suggesting that the economic slowdown may be coming to an end.

Digital trend tracker comScore has examined the total number of visits to the five biggest UK e-tailers in November 2009 compared to a typical month. It found that hits on Amazon, Apple the Home Retail Group, Tesco and Play.com rose by an average of 35 per cent last month. This could potentially encourage other e-tailers to increase their own online marketing budgets.

Online retail around the world

The study also put the figure into context by looking at visits to the top five sites in three other major economies. France led the field with a 39 per cent hike in online retail traffic over the festive period, while Germany and the US were some way behind with 17 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore, has commented on the figures. "That we're seeing such strong growth in visitation to retail sites in three of Europe's leading countries prior to the December pre-Christmas rush is, hopefully, a positive sign for the overall European economy," he said. "Right now, the UK and France appear to be demonstrating the highest rate of traffic growth to retail sites, outperforming the US by a considerable margin."

Although the US may not be experiencing the same spike in traffic as the UK and France, it still equalled the all-time online spending record last month. On Cyber Monday, which this year fell on November 30th, overall online retail spend climbed to £534 million. This was the same total as December 9th 2008, which holds the record for the biggest single day of online spending in history.