ONLINE MADNESS: Today is busiest day for cyber shopping

ONLINE MADNESS: Today is busiest day for cyber shopping

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DON’T expect everyone to be hard at work today – except when it comes to their Christmas shopping.

Monday has been tipped to be the busiest online shopping day of the year in Australia and the hour following lunch will be the peak time to find gifts via a computer screen, according to new eBay research.

But while the Australian Retailers Association, who predict Australian shoppers will purchase most of their gifts online this year, backed up eBay’s prediction, it also warned consumers to check delivery times to ensure their gifts arrived before the big day.

More than 2.7 million Australians are expected to visit the online shopping destination on Monday, in a move eBay Australia chief financial officer Gavin Dennis said had been pushed later this year by Australians postponing their Christmas shopping.

“The busiest online shopping day has tended to be a week earlier, the Monday just gone,” he said.

“This year we’ve seen the busiest online shopping day pushed out to the second week of December. Gift shoppers are becoming more confident they can order online later, and 70 per cent of our shoppers are now coming from mobile devices so you don’t necessarily need to be at home, on the laptop, shopping, you can be wherever the inspiration grabs you.”

But online shoppers still engaging in ‘Windows shopping’ on desktop computers were also becoming more confident that they could get away with purchasing gifts at work this year.

eBay predicted computer users would purchase the greatest number of items between 1pm and 2pm on Monday, while they were still at work.

“There has been a change in peak desktop purchasing period,” Mr Dennis said.

“Historically it tended to be in the evenings. Now we’re seeing shopper behaviour change and that desktop sales are peaking around lunch time. On Monday, everyone is gong to be busy on their lunch break, shopping online.”

But buying gifts on a smartphone, which now outnumbered eBay purchases on a computer, would peak between 9pm and 9.15pm, Mr Dennis said, as shoppers engaged in some multi-tasking in front of the television before bed time.

eBay Australia predicted more than five gifts would be sold every second on the site during Monday, including an electronic gadget every second, a piece of jewelry every three seconds, and an Apple product and a Star Wars item every minute.

Despite its history in secondhand item sales, more than 9 in 10 of the items purchased were expected to be brand new.

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said research showed online purchases would jump 3.96 per cent this Christmas, and many would be made this week.

“There’s been an incredibly amount of people shopping online over the weekend, but Monday is probably going to be one of the busiest days for gift-shopping,” he said.

But Mr Zimmerman said consumers should check delivery times of any gifts purchased over the internet today, as after a certain date “you can’t necessarily guarantee” they’ll arrive in time for Christmas.

Australian shoppers are expected to spend more than $50 billion over the Christmas period, starting on November 15, according to the ARA and Roy Morgan Research.

Online shopping grew 8.3 per cent in Australia this year, according to the National Australia Bank, with consumers spending $23.65 billion in internet stores over the year to October, representing 7.6 per cent of spending in bricks and mortar stores.

The arrival of retail giant Amazon in Australia was expected to boost online sales this year until its late and lacklustre launch last week.

– Busiest shopping time for desktop users: 1pm to 2pm

– Busiest shopping time for smartphone users: 9pm to 10pm

– Five gifts sold per second, on average

– Buyers will snap up an electronic item every second

– Top buying locations include Toowoomba and Mackay in Queensland, Werribee and Truganina in Victoria, and Liverpool in New South Wales