A record £831,000 per minute was spent online at peak yesterday on the busiest online shopping day of the year, according to Retail Decisions.

Sales peaked at 1.15pm yesterday said IMRG member, payment processing specialists Retail Decisions, with spending for the day believed to have hit £291m, 21% up on last year’s Mega Monday.

Retail Decisions calculated online sales were up 2% on last Monday, which was expected by some retailers to be the busiest web trading day of 2010.

IMRG managing director David Smith said: “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.

“With over half the population of the UK now shopping online, this Christmas looks to be a big one for retailers, possibly even exceeding our estimation of £6.4bn spent online in December.”

Carl Clump, chief executive of Retail Decisions, said: “Mega Monday has once again lived up to its name, smashing the record for online sales in just one minute.

“Experienced bargain hunters go out and window-shop at the weekend to choose what they want, but then buy online on Monday after searching for the very best prices. Our real-time statistics show that nearly 40% of online Christmas shopping is done during office hours, and that between midday and 2pm at work on Monday 6 December has been the most popular time for purchasing.”