Online retailers have been braced for Cyber Monday, the busiest online day of the year, and so far it looks to be a bumper one.

Sales are forecast to hit £605m today according to research conducted by the Centre for Retail Research, commissioned by VoucherCodes.co.uk and Tesco said this morning it has experienced a 114% increase in visitor numbers to Tesco Direct than on a normal Monday morning.

This year seems to be the year that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have really taken off. Of course, both days have been promoted by some retailers for over previous years but this year – as the bargain-hungry hordes photographed grabbing TVs in Asda on Friday proved – it appears to have really resonated with customers.

The raft of retailers promoting Cyber Monday for the first time may have played a part in the growing consumer awareness. Tesco, Debenhams, Asda, Boots and Very are just some of the names advertising special online deals today to ensure that online shoppers part with their cash.

But before etailers far and wide celebrate record sales figures, they need to ensure that their service levels don’t slip while fulfilling these promotion driven orders.

James Hardy, head of Europe at Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba.com, which had to cope with a 80% sales jump on Chinese national holiday Chinese Singles Day last month, said retailers should have brought in additional staff in both customer service and logistics before peak to handle the rush.

He warns that staff must be fully trained ahead of the Christmas rush as a poor customer experience around important shopping periods can lose even loyal customers.

As ever, delivery is critical and fulfillment firm Hermes is prepared for a busy Christmas period. Hermes sales and marketing director Gary Winter says both retailers and their delivery partners “live and die” by their last peak.

Hermes has invested £30m to ensure it is ready and has added 2,000 additional courier rounds to its business. It has also added an additional “pop-up” customer service office in Coventry to deal with the uplift in enquiries.

Although the sales records may be smashed online today, it is actually over the next week that the real accomplishments will be made.