The busiest day for pre-Christmas online shopping was ‘Cyber Sunday’ December 5th, with Lego the most searched for gift, according to new research.
Data from Experian Hitwise, the online competitive intelligence service, reveals that the recent flurry of snow pushed last Sunday above ‘Cyber Monday’ December 6th in terms of visits to the online retail sites.
Visits on Cyber Sunday to Experian Hitwise’s Shopping and Classifieds category was 4.2% higher than on Cyber Monday, setting a new peak for the year.
However, Cyber Monday was also a key day for retailers – together Cyber Sunday and Monday form the busiest 2 days for online retailers in the run up to Christmas.
The most searched for products this year to date have been a mixture of games, gadgets, clothes and Christmas classics. The top product by volume of UK Internet searches over 5th and 6th December was LEGO.
The Danish building block continues to be one of the most sought after presents despite technological advancements and new innovations in toys.
Apple products were also hugely popular, with six products in the top 20 list. The new Apple iPad is the most popular Apple product in the list, followed by the iPod Touch, iPod and iPod Nano.
The iPhone, which was last Christmas’s most searched for product, came much lower down the list this year at 16.
The other big gadget of the year was Amazon’s e-reader the Kindle, which secured 14th spot in the top 20 top Christmas products list.
In the console wars the PlayStation 3 finished ahead of both the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360, the first time ever that the PS3 has beaten both the Wii and Xbox in the pre-Christmas search statistics.
Microsoft’s Xbox was the least sought after console, but the new motion sensor accessory, the Xbox Kinect was the 17th most searched for product overall, and received more searches than any of the consoles.
In the maturing games market, the biggest searches were for games rather than consoles this year, with ‘wii party’ and ‘wii games’ the most popular games searches.
The recent snow and ice has also driven up searches for suitable footwear, with Ugg boots, Hunter Wellies and snow boots all in the top 10 most searched for products. Christmas jumpers also made an appearance in the top 20 ahead of classic Christmas gifts of lingerie and watches.
Of the top online retailers eBay received double the number of visits on Sunday of second placed Amazon, making it by far the most popular retailer over the busy period. Amazon, Argos and Play.com were all in top five retailers as shoppers rushed to meet the cut off deadline for pre-Christmas delivery.
One of the fastest moving retailers on Sunday was Groupon UK. The coupon site was the fifth fastest moving website on Cyber Sunday and has doubled its traffic in the last two months.
Experian Hitwise’s Director of Research Robin Goad commented: “Retail has been growing online consistently year-on-year in the UK and this Christmas we would expect visits to retail sites to be about 10% higher than last year. The big winners this Christmas are LEGO, Apple, Nintendo and boot manufacturers. The cold weather has clearly had an effect on consumers, which caused Sunday’s spike in traffic. Tesco was the fastest growing retailer on Sunday as people looked to buy their groceries online and the searches for Ugg boots and Hunter Wellies show how much the cold spell has affected people.
“The web sites that have really benefited from traffic over this period are the ones that have a proven track record in delivering presents on time before Christmas Eve. From now until Christmas traffic to online retail sites tends to decline as there are fewer days left to deliver goods.
“However, those companies with a solid reputation for delivering on time will continue to see strong demand throughout December. Equally, there is a great opportunity for retailers to tap into digital offers to encourage in-store foot fall as well as traffic to their web sites. Incentives such as online special offers redeemable in-store, guaranteed store delivery and post-sales customer care are all effective ways to gain a competitive edge.”