Mega Monday: online shopping frenzy predicted

  • Visa Europe predicts that £320 million will be spent online as transactions top 6.8 million, making 3rd December the busiest online shopping day in history
  • John Lewis predicts that shoppers will rush online to purchase technology products and tech toys as they seek to ensure they get this year’s present must-haves

London, 20 November 2012 - Visa Europe and John Lewis today reveal that the UK will experience an online shopping frenzy on Monday 3rd December 2012 which looks set to break all records. 'Mega Monday' will see shoppers across the UK dash to buy must-have items online ahead of Christmas, using their computers, tablets and smartphones. Visa Europe analysts predict that 6.8 million transactions will take place online, with shoppers spending £320 million on Visa cards alone. John Lewis predicts that the top ranked Christmas gifts this year will be the iPad mini, Kurio tablets, Sonos wireless music systems and Beats headphones.

Unprecedented in retail history, Mega Monday will see the total number of online transactions on Visa cards in the UK increase by 21% compared to the equivalent day last year. Savvy consumers will take full advantage of online deals and offers, with John Lewis expecting them to hunt for technology products. Favouring shopping after dark, most consumers will go online between 20:00 and 21:00.

Analysis of Visa Europe’s data shows that the busiest online shopping day historically falls on the Monday closest to the beginning of December. 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. All of these factors will result in consumers spending £222,222 per minute, making 4,722 transactions every sixty seconds.

Where and how people log on to buy their gifts is changing, with mobile and tablet technology driving behaviour change: mobile traffic and orders to have more than trebled on a year ago (+335% w/c 12th November), and a third of customers are now shopping using mobile phones or tablet devices.

Dr Steve Perry, Commercial Director at Visa Europe said: "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. Online shopping now accounts for a significant proportion of all retail spend. This reflects the confidence that shoppers feel about the security of using their Visa cards for online transactions."

Peter Ruis, Buying & Brand Director at John Lewis, said: " is growing at a rate of 40% this year, and now accounts for about a quarter of our trade. We are now seeing twice as many Click & Collect orders as a year ago, as customers opt for the convenience of free next day delivery to their local shop. The current online sales boost is prompted by Christmas shoppers seeking to tick off their must-have gifts on their list early.

"A lot of our predicted top-selling products are technology-based this year, such as the new iPad mini, children’s Kurio tablet and app toys like the Atari Arcade joystick. Whilst it is these top sellers which customers want to purchase early in the festive season, many shoppers prefer buying other popular Christmas gifts instore, such as our range of colourful cashmere items and perfumes."

Visa bases its prediction on up to the minute spending data and previous years’ Christmas spending trends. Over £1 in every £3 in the UK is on a Visa card, making this data one of the most reliable indicators of trends in consumer spending.

The busiest high-street shopping day often falls two days before Christmas Day. The weekend of 22nd-23rd December will be a key time for many consumers to make last minute purchases, with Visa Europe predicting Saturday 22 December to be the busiest day for shopping on the high-street.

Visa Europe’s top tips for safe shopping online

To ensure consumers are always protected when shopping online, Visa Europe provides the following tips:

  • Use the latest version of your browser's software and check to be sure your computer's operating system software is up to date.
  • Shop with retailers you know about, or research them first to ensure they are reputable and reliable.
  • Make sure that your card details will be encrypted securely before being sent across the internet – look for an unbroken key or lock at the bottom of your browser window or check the website address, which should begin https:// rather than http://
  • Keep a record of your internet transactions, including the retailer's website address. Many online stores send customers e-mails summarising the purchase details – make sure you save or print these.
  • Before buying, read the delivery and return policies that should be on the retailer’s website. Can unsatisfactory items be sent back? If the items are faulty, can you get a refund or a credit note?
  • The retailer’s website should also have information about delivery arrangements and costs, currencies they accept and taxes that apply.
  • Look for a telephone number or e-mail address and note them down in case you have any queries.

About Visa Europe

In Europe, there are 460 million Visa debit, credit and commercial cards. In the 12 months ending June 2012 those cards were used to make purchases and cash withdrawals to the value of €1.8 trillion. 14% of consumer spending at the point of sale in Europe is with a Visa card, and almost 80% of that is on Visa debit cards.

Visa Europe is independent of global Visa Inc., with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe, while both companies operate to ensure global interoperability. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.

Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world. In addition, Visa/PLUS is one of the world’s largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in over 200 countries.

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