Shoppers flock to virtual high street on Cyber Monday
The advent calendar doors are opening, the decorations are up and the lights are on - Christmas is well and truly under way and we're all shopping accordingly.
These days festive present-buying is as much about the virtual high street as the real one though, and Monday is set to be the busiest day of the year for online shopping.
In recent years the pre-Christmas shopping spree on the first Monday of December has taken the name Cyber Monday, with online shopping figures consistently peaking.
And this year is expected to be no different; with research from Visa Europe predicting £320 million will be spent on its cards alone as online transactions top 6.8 million.
The estimate is up by around a fifth on last year, meaning 3 December 2012 could set a new high for online shopping. Visa Europe said we're expected to spend £222,222 per minute on the virtual high street.
Experts suggest the first Monday in December is busy because most workers have just received their final wage before Christmas.
Visa Europe said: "A combination of pay day for the majority of consumers falling on the last Friday of the month and a weekend spent browsing the shops results in shoppers logging on to buy their gifts online on the subsequent Monday."
Meanwhile, a separate survey for Royal Mail from OnePoll showed how committed we had become to online shopping.
Nearly one in two people were planning to do more of their Christmas shopping via the internet this year when compared to last, according to the poll.
Royal Mail's Nick Landon said: "Online shopping is now such a key part of the Christmas shopping experience. Our research shows that more people will be going online for their festive gifts this year than ever before."
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