Online retailers are braced for their busiest day of the year as consumers take part in the annual pre-Christmas shopping spree dubbed Cyber Monday.
– Visa Europe commercial director Dr Steve Perry
On Mega Monday, people across the UK will go online and use their Visa cards to make 6.8 million transactions, the most in a single day in UK history.
That's 21% more than in 2011, signalling that consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to the advantages of shopping online for everyday purchases and special items, especially in the lead-up to Christmas.
Recent years have seen online shopping figures consistently peaking on the first Monday in December, probably explained by most UK consumers having just received their last pay cheque before Christmas.
Visa Europe predicts £320 million will be spent on its cards alone as online transactions top 6.8 million, an increase of 21% on last year, making December 3 the busiest online shopping day in history.
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, a Visa Europe report has found.
All of these factors will result in consumers spending £222,222 per minute, making 4,722 transactions every 60 seconds.
Amazon.co.uk have predicted that Cyber Monday is set to be its biggest single day, with orders set to peak at 9.20pm.
Marks & Spencer also said it was prepared for what it expects to be its busiest day of the year.
Online analyst Experian expects UK consumers to make 115 million visits to retail websites on this year's Cyber Monday, an increase of 36% on last year.
– Christopher North, managing director of Amazon.co.uk
As people increasingly shop on mobile devices and benefit from fast broadband at home, we're seeing a move towards customers buying their Christmas gifts later in the evening when they are at home relaxing.
Monday December 3 could be the busiest day in the history of Amazon.co.uk, and we're preparing for it by hiring more than 10,000 seasonal employees across our eight UK fulfilment centres.
Asda Direct says it is expecting to see a 50% spike in traffic to its electronic equipment retail section, compared with a normal Monday.
CD sales are also expected to increase by 70%, while some popular DVD titles are due for a 50% rise, the retailer said.
John Lewis have reported a record week for its online sales, soaring to £37.9 million, and the third best ever week for John Lewis department stores, topping £124.2 million.