Industrial action by UK workers on 30 November 2011 helped fuel a surge in online shopping and record sales, according to BT’s retail division, BT Expedite and Fresca.
The figures for the Christmas shopping period, from BT’s retail customers, show online sales on 30 November 2011 were up 163% on an average day and 45% higher than the same day last year.
The all-time online shopping high on the day of industrial action across the UK was closely followed by the figures for 28 November 2011 and 5 December 2011 with retailers using the FrescaCommerce Platform delivering their best-ever trading figures during Christmas 2011, with daily sales up an average of 46% on last year, said BT.
The record-breaking Christmas shopping spell saw the highest-ever weekly, daily and hourly traffic volumes and transactions, with shoppers taking full advantage of retailers’ promotional activity, said BT.
The two-week period at the end of November and the beginning of December was substantially busier than the peak Christmas period in 2010, it added.
Christmas saw a growing trend for “early week” shopping with Sunday evenings and Mondays being particularly busy and the increasing use of targeted, time-dependent, only available for 24 hour “flash sales” by retailers.
Predictions from some commentators online shopping on Christmas Day would be busier than the first day of the post-Christmas sales on Boxing Day were proved wrong with 26 December 2011 continuing to be the more popular, said BT.
Richard Vining, head of performance for BT Fresca, said: “Whether or not people were striking or working from home or simply unable to get to work because of the industrial action it seems many decided 30 November 2011 was a good time to do their Christmas shopping online.
“In 2011, there were a number of peaks in orders instead of just one as in previous years. It’s striking that the week leading up to Christmas, historically a ‘no-go’ area for online Christmas shopping, is now coming into its own. Even as late as 20 December 2011, order volumes were still high, at least as high as the beginning of November. This is in part due to sharper delivery strategies, giving customers confidence their orders would arrive before the big day.”