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British online shoppers spend £831,000 in a minute

But many e-tailers weren't ready for Mega Monday rush

More than £830,000 was spent online by Brits in just 60 secs yesterday lunchtime, according to the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG). The IMRG reported that 1.15pm was the busiest minute of the day for online shopping. 

Analysts had predicted that December 6, which was the first Monday in December, would be the busiest online shopping day in the run up to Christmas, and had even dubbed it 'Mega Monday'.

IMRG said sales were 21 percent higher than the same day last year and had probably been boosted by the adverse weather conditions recently experienced.

"Now that everyone has been paid, we are seeing online Christmas shopping really burst into life for this year during today's lunch period," said David Smith, managing director of the IMRG .

"Mondays tend to have the highest spend of the week as people go out to the shops over the weekend and try the products before making a decision."

Smith also said online sales could even exceed the estimation that £6.4bn will be spent online during December.

Play.com said by lunchtime 10,000 orders had been placed on the site, with a further 50,000 placed by 6pm. The online retailer's peak trading time was 9:23pm, which was very close to its initial predictions.

"Our prediction that Monday December 6 would be the absolute peak in Christmas shopping held true. The vast majority of workers had banked their pay cheques and looked to get as much of their present buying done as possible in one go," said Stuart Rowe from Play.com.

"We also saw that many people chose to shop online after the kids had gone to bed, with the peak trade time being 9.23pm."

Meanwhile, MyVoucherCodes said online sales that are made via the online voucher site were up more than 63 percent on last year's 'Mega Monday' and compared to the first monday in November this year, sales are up by 238 percent.

However, the websites of online retailers remained sluggish, according to Site Confidence.

The web monitoring firm had already warned online retailers that they were not properly prepared for the online shopping rush. Data from Site Confidence revealed some sites took up to 28 seconds to load, while the average load time was 12 seconds - well below the desired eight-second target.

Site Confidence said many online retailers experienced problems throughout the day, and five of the sites monitored suffered periods of downtime of up to three hours.

"It is clear that a number of e-tailers struggled yesterday and may have missed out on valuable sales by failing to prepare for the most profitable day of the year," said Bob Dowson, director at Site Confidence.

"The websites that flourished on Mega Monday prepared well in advance to maximise sales, using rigorous load testing to assess the ability of their systems to cope with increased traffic, and performance testing to ensure a seamless user journey."

See also: Brits will spend £7.4 billion online this Christmas

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