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Cyber Monday Makes Inroads in the UK

Banking glitch meant sales could have been higher still

UK consumers do not celebrate Thanksgiving, so the significance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is lost on most. However, new research from Peerius suggested that these headline shopping days were becoming more popular, marking the start to the Christmas shopping season.

Online traffic in the UK on Cyber Monday was up by 30.0%, mobile traffic by 55.0% and conversion rates by 1.4%. However, one of the major banks, RBS Group, which owns the RBS and NatWest brands, suffered a glitch on Cyber Monday, preventing customers from processing transactions. This issue may have driven Cyber Monday sales down around 5%, meaning that if this glitch had not occurred, sales may have been higher still.

Results from Kinetic Worldwide polling in September 2013 indicated how Cyber Monday had further room to grow. More than four in 10 UK internet users said they would do “all” or “most” of their Christmas shopping online, compared with 27% who said the same for the high street and 22% for a shopping mall. Conversely, only 10% said they planned to do no shopping online, 12% said the same for the high street, and 18% would avoid the shopping mall.

Clearly, the internet is already the favored shopping destination in the UK. And mobile is driving this growth, even cannibalizing desktop sales. Pushing offers to Cyber Monday or Black Friday may yield further results, despite the lack of Thanksgiving in the UK.

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