Online retailers prepare for Cyber Monday

Rise in conversions coincides with Christmas shopping rush

Online marketing teams and the retails clients they represent are gearing up for their busiest day of the year, as experts predict sales will peak on the first Monday in December.

The date has in recent years been dubbed Cyber Monday and this time falls on Monday, November 30th 2009.

Last year, online retailer Amazon reported that 1.4m orders were placed through its UK site in a 24-hour period, which equates to more than 16 conversions every second. This year, the company is predicting that sales will increase by 21% to 36%.

Recession-proof online retail

The continued good performance of online retail in spite of the recession has been attributed to the growing number of homes with a broadband connection, as well as more people conducting research (product and price comparison) online and more conversion-likely groups such as females and older age ranges with higher levels of disposable income using the internet.

The Office for National Statistics reported that online sales made up 3.5% of all retail sales in December last year, representing a rise of 19.6% on the year before. Average weekly sales were around £238m.

And while the rate of growth has been slowed by the recession, internet sales nevertheless continue to increase. IMRG, a body that represents online retailers, is predicting growth of around 15% this year, compared to 35% to 50% in previous years.

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