Etail giant Shop Direct is predicting a bigger mobile Christmas than first indicated after traffic to its sites from smartphones and tablets topped 50%.

In the six weeks to December 7, mobile visits to its websites, which includes Littlewoods, Very and Isme, outstripped desktop traffic for the first time. Mobile represented 50.4% of all visits.

Tablet traffic soared 120% year on year, while visits on smartphones increased 105.2%.

The number of orders made on mobile devices almost doubled over the period and the value of orders jumped 91.6%.

Shop Direct group retail and strategy director Gareth Jones said: “We knew that this Christmas would be massive for mobile but all signs indicate that it’s going to smash our early expectations.

“To have topped 50% of traffic from mobile before we got into the peak weeks of December highlights the increasing power of these devices and of shoppers in dictating the retail agenda. We haven’t actively pushed customers onto mobile – they’ve adopted these devices willingly for their convenience and ease of use.”

Jones said its biggest growth in mobile traffic is between 6am and 12pm, indicating the surge was not just down to shoppers switching to mobile devices in the evening.

“More and more of our customers are now snacking on their mobile devices on the way into work in the morning. They tend to use this time to browse, compare and share products with their friends. Afternoons and evenings then tend to be the times that most people go on to transact.”

Black Friday played a “significant” part of its mobile growth over recent weeks, according to Jones. He said that customers were checking their mobile devices for new deals throughout the day. However, he said traffic levels showed “no sign of slowing”.

“Where this goes next Christmas, with wearable technology and other new innovations coming down the track, will be fascinating to see,” he added.