By Daniel Hunter

Rakuten LinkShare has today (Wednesday) released network data revealing that Cyber Monday is just the start of the Christmas shopping period online.

While sales of clothing, shoes and accessories peak on Cyber Monday, more items are bought from luxury and high end brands in the final few days before Christmas than on Cyber Monday.

The data also shows that while Cyber Monday drives the highest total volume of sales online, it’s actually in the final few days before Christmas that the highest value of online sales are completed. Average basket size was 54 per cent higher on the 21st December last year when compared to the average basket size on Cyber Monday.

In fact, the average basket size peaks just before Christmas, and remains well above average throughout the final few days of December, right up until the New Year. The data suggests that spending doesn’t stop, with shoppers continuing to buy over the entire festive break, making the most of online sales and investing in new season lines.

Peak online shopping days in December are Cyber Monday and Boxing Day, however Christmas Day is becoming increasingly important for e-tailers. From 2010 to 2011 the amount of sales completed on Christmas Day through the Rakuten LinkShare UK network increased 73 per cent.

“This data shows that in the run up to Christmas and beyond, online retailers cannot take their foot of the pedal," Mark Haviland, MD of Rakuten LinkShare commented.

"In the final few days before the 25th December a huge amount of items are bought online. Online retailers and marketers should take this into account, making sure their brand and products stand out in a very competitive environment, to take advantage of this late surge.

"Brands should work with their CPA network to ensure they encourage consumers to act by offering engaging and powerful reasons to buy in the final run up to Christmas. Discounting and offers are of course popular tools to use, but retailers should also curate collections and highlight the unique selling points of their products aside from price.”

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