By Marcus Leach

Britain’s biggest and most well-known retailers have started 'mega sales' early this year in an attempt to boost Christmas shopping amongst cash strapped shoppers.

Amazon, in the run up to Black Friday is offering bargains for its ‘Black Friday Deals Week’ and Comet are offering a 5 day Frenzy super sale.

In the run up to Christmas consumers are expected to spend a whopping £7.75 billion on online shopping according to e-tailing trade association IMRG. An estimated £13 billion will be spentacross all sectorsonline, however figures on the high street are expected to fall by 2.1 per cent in spite of so many sales starting early. It is clear that this year’s success stories will be told with a distinctly online lilt.

“Retailers that were desperately in need of a reversal of their fortunes have found that they now have an encouraging platform on which to build in the run up to Christmas," Kevin Flood, CEO of the leading social shopping website Shopow said.

"High street stores have had to pull out all the stops to make their shops attractive by reducing prices early and creating imaginative promotions to increase footfall and more activity at the tills. It is still far from plain sailing and there is still a lot of pressure on retailers and as long as business and consumer confidence remains low, the battle will continue to persuade shoppers to return in their droves.

“Online activity has emerged as a vital area that will only continue to grow in importance over Christmas. We are expecting a significant amount of Christmas activity online and those who have introduced innovative shopping tools that make shopping easier and more cost effective will take capitalise.”

Social shopping has emerged as an exciting trend in online retailing as many high street stores look to engage consumers. It involves the use of social networking to share recommendations, share discounts, post reviews and ask for advice on products before purchase.

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