Online Retailers Pin Hopes On Cyber Monday
Online retailers are hoping for their busiest day of the year as pre-Christmas shoppers search the internet for bargains on so-called Cyber Monday.
Internet shopping figures consistently peak on the first Monday in December.
The spending spree is thought to be prompted by a combination of the last payday before Christmas falling on the previous Friday and a weekend spent browsing the shops before buying from home.
Online shopping is up 10.1% in 2013 compared to 2012, according to Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of all card transactions in the UK.
The first Monday in December last year saw the highest levels of online spending in the company's history, as online consumers spent an average of £57 per transaction.
According to accountants BDO, there was a 29.8% increase in online sales in November compared to the same period last year, while November 2012 showed a 25.5% increase on 2011.
It said December 2012 also showed a 30.8% increase on December 2011, which in turn was 29% up on 2010.
Visa Europe predicts £450m will be spent on its cards alone as online transactions top 7.7 million, an increase of 16% on last year, potentially making this the busiest online shopping day in history.
Jeremy Nicholds, director of commercial development, said: "Online shopping now accounts for more than 25% of spend with Visa in the UK, signifying the confidence that consumers have in the security of online payments and in the delivery of goods.
"With an average of £312,500 expected to be spent online every minute on December 2, the Christmas shopping season will certainly start with a bang."
Online analyst Experian expects UK consumers to make 113 million visits to online retail sites on Cyber Monday.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police urged internet Christmas shoppers to exercise caution while making their purchases to avoid falling victim to fraudsters.
Its new Cyber Crime Unit has put together a checklist for people buying on the web.
Detective Chief Inspector Jason Tunn said: "The last thing anyone needs is for their details to be compromised by cyber criminals and online fraudsters, especially during the Christmas period."