Figures released so far suggest that some online retailers have experienced growth over the Christmas shopping season, with Boxing Day being the being the busiest ever online shopping day in the UK. 

I've rounded up some of the stats released so far on online shopping in the UK over Christmas...

Online sales in December

  • Online sales in December were up 30% year-on-year, and the last week before Christmas saw almost double the sales compared with last year, according to stats from MetaPack.

Kindle and tablet sales

  • According to YouGov stats, roughly 1.2m Kindles were given as gifts in the UK this Christmas, meaning 1 in 40 adults either gave or received the e-readers as a gift. 
  • In total 1.33m e-readers were given away, with Kindles swallowing up 92% of the market share.
  • 61% of Kindles were received by women, with over 55 year olds twice as likely as 18-24 year olds to receive one.
  • 640,000 tablets were given as gifts to adults, with the iPad dominating the market with 72% of sales.

Android and iOS device activations

  • According to stats from Flurry, 6.8m iOS and Android devices, including mobiles and tablets were activated on Christmas Day, compared to the normal daily average of 1.5m and 2.5m for Christmas Day in 2010. 
  • 4.2m iOS devices were activated on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

Online Christmas spending

  • Boxing Day 2011 was the biggest ever day for oniine retail in the UK, according to Experian Hitwise
  • 96m UK internet visits went to retail websites,  a 19.5% increase from last year’s figures. Britons spent 13m hours shopping on Boxing Day
  • Gadgets were among the most searched for products on Boxing Day principally the Kindle and iPad 2.

John Lewis Christmas sales

  • For the five weeks to 31 December 2011. Total sales for John Lewis were £596m. 
  • Sales at broke through the £600m milestone for the year, while online sales rose by 27.9% in the five week period to December. 
  • Use of Click and Collect operations to buy online from John Lewis and collect from 129 John Lewis and Waitrose stores, rose by 90% in the period.
  • Online sales at sister company Waitrose were up by 49%, with orders up by 68% in the week before Christmas. Online wine sales more than doubled.

Next online sales

  • According to Next, its strong online performance compensated for 'slightly disappointing' in store sales, which declined by 2.7%.
  • Total Next brand sales rose by 3.1% in the period from August 1 to December thanks to a 16.9% rise in Next Directory online sales.

Mobile browsing and app usage

  • Stats from Adfonic show that mobile ad clicks peaked on Christmas Day with a 50% increase over the monthly average. 
  • Christmas Day was the busiest day of the year for mobile clicks, with volumes 36% higher than the early month peak on 11 December 2011 and 50% higher than the average for December.
  • In the UK Christmas morning saw a frenzy of activity between 9am and 12pm, with the 11 to 12 slot representing the most clicks in a single hour during December. 
Graham Charlton

Published 6 January, 2012 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (2)


Tim Leighton-Boyce, Analyst at CxFocus

I do hope all those sales figures are real ones from financial people and exclude VAT!

Some more sales-type people have a fondness for gross figures. And I've also seen some Google Analytics implementations which include the VAT and make a mess of year on year calculations because of the rate change last January.

over 6 years ago

John Courtney

John Courtney, CEO and Executive Chairman at Pay on Results SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media, Digital PR, PPC & CRO from Strategy Digital

Similar story everywhere - e-commerce up 20-30%, shops down marginally except quality brands. Thank God we are in e-commerce and on-line!

Expect the trend to continue and for e-commerce to account for 25% f all sales within 5 years.

over 6 years ago

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