UK shoppers 'will spend £1.3bn online this Christmas' header image

A month after Black Friday saw the UK's online spending reach a record-breaking £810 million, researchers have forecast that Britons will part with an eye-popping £1.3 billion this Christmas period.

According to Experian and IMRG, ecommerce websites will rake in £636 million on December 25th alone, with a record number of tech-savvy UK shoppers spending the holiday browsing for bargains from the comfort of their own homes.

This is the equivalent of £441,000 per minute, amassed across a total of 142 million unique site visits - an increase of 25 per cent compared with Christmas Day 2013.

Then, on Boxing Day, the two firms anticipate an even bigger spend of £748 million - more than half a million pounds per minute (£519,000). Britons will clock up a total of 167 million unique site visits, which represents a boost of 29 per cent on last year's figures.

According to Tina Spooner, IMRG's chief information officer, the increases come despite the fact that Black Friday - a US tradition that has only recently travelled across the Atlantic - will have cannibalised some of the festive period's sales this year.

"Over recent years, Boxing Day has typically been the busiest online shopping day of the year as consumers log on in search of a bargain from the comfort of their sofas," she commented.

"However, the festive sales started early this year, with Black Friday discounts and promotions attracting a record number of online shoppers in the UK."

Giles Longhurst, Experian general manager for consumer insight, suggesting that the figures are just one signal that "shopping is changing" thanks to the availability of high-speed internet and ubiquity of connected devices.

He said that online shopping is now "a leisure activity" for many Britons, who enjoy browsing for bargains whenever they have a few minutes spare.

This highlights the importance of fast broadband in the modern age, as it facilitates some of the nation's favourite free-time activities as well as work and communication.