Online shopping hits record levels

BT reports a 300% increase in online shopping since 2008, and a sharp rise in smartphone shopping.

2012 was a record year for online shopping, according to new figures from BT's retail division, BT Expedite and Fresca.

The company reports that in 2012, it recorded the largest number of orders to date through its e-commerce product the Fresca Commerce Platform (FCP) - used by retailers to manage their online stores. According to the figures, annual sales increased by 17% compared to 2011, and were up a hefty 300% from 2008.

The busiest single shopping day of the year was Monday 3 December. The first Monday of December is often referred to as 'Mega Monday', and it appears to have lived up to its name in 2012, with sales up by 410% compared to 2008.

The entire Christmas shopping period was particularly busy for online sales, with BT reporting record numbers of orders. Interestingly, many of these orders came from smartphones and tablets, showing that the number of people shopping with these portable devices continues to increase.

During the Christmas period, the number of online orders placed via portable devices increased by 125% - particularly in the evenings.

According to Richard Vining, BT Fresca's head of FCP performance: "Last year also saw a mobile revolution in UK shopping, as orders placed on smartphones and tablets increased by 125 per cent during the Christmas shopping period.

It's partly down to this increase in m-commerce that we also saw a growing trend in people shopping in the evening between 9 and 10pm whilst watching TV."

Research from, published last week, found that Brits are even increasingly choosing to watch TV through their phones and tablets instead of a traditional television set, further evidence that 'second screening' is not just a fad but here to stay.

Did you buy Christmas presents online this year? Did you do so through your phone or tablet? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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