Retailers enjoyed a record surge in trade on Monday as shoppers rushed online to secure Christmas deals.
Shoppers took to their tablets, smartphones and desktops on Cyber Monday, also dubbed Mega Monday.
Experian said UK shoppers made 112 million visits to retail websites and spent 15 million hours shopping online. IBM said online sales rose 15.5% year-on-year while the number of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site reached 21.7%, up from 12.6% last year.
Marks & Spencer said that it had enjoyed a record number of orders per minute with an average three orders per second during shoppers’ lunch hour window as well as a threefold increase in traffic compared to Sunday. It also recorded a peak in traffic between 8pm and 10pm.
M&S multichannel trading director Dom McBrien said: “Customers have been stocking up on Christmas gifts, with hampers and dressing gowns amongst the best selling items.”
John Lewis said sales rose 45% year-on-year on Monday.
Dixons chief executive Seb James admitted he had underestimated the likely impact of Cyber Monday. He tweeted on Tuesday: “Wow! What a day Mega Monday was! I was a bit sceptical but I was wrong.”
James has predicted a “tablet-tastic” Christmas in 2012 and the electricals specialist sold an average one tablet per second on Monday.
Sex toy specialist Lovehoney said that “sex was the big winner on Cyber Monday” as it recorded the busiest day in its history. The etailer said sales rose 53% on the same Monday last year.
Staff at Lovehoney were so busy that co-founders Neal Slateford and Richard Longhurst helped pack boxes in the warehouse.
Cyber Monday in the US is the Monday after Thanksgiving - but in the UK the first Monday in December is traditionally thought to be the biggest day of the year for online sales because it is nearest to pay day.
However, Lovehoney expect the next two Mondays will be bigger for pleasure products as shoppers make last-minute purchases. Lovehoney expects December 17 to be its busiest day and forecasts annual sales in 2012 to be up a third on 2011.