Shoppers expected to reach spending rate of £16,000 per second in online binge as they search the web for gifts they couldn’t find at the weekend.
Today has been heralded 'Cyber' or 'mega' Monday – the biggest day of the year for online retail, with a whopping £13.16bn predicted to be spent on gifts in the run up to Christmas.
Internet trade body IMRG expects online sales to increase by 15% this year, with the number of purchases peaking between 12 and 2pm today, when customers are expected to spend as much as £16,000 per second on internet transactions.
Credit card companies anticipate more than two million transactions will take place from midday as shoppers log on during their lunch breaks. A second spike is also expected between 6 and 9pm, according to IMRG.
Chief executive James Roper said: "I think it's going to be really big this year as people are really researching their purchases."
Mr Roper also believes retail trading patterns have altered this year, both online and offline, with the emergence of new 'multi-channel strategies'.
"There is a much higher level of engagement with the high street than before," he said. "Customers are playing the retail channels off against each other."
However, IMRG insists that, despite impressive annual growth rates, the web still only accounts for a small percentage of overall retail sales – an estimated 4% of a £265bn sector.