Christmas comes early for online shops

<p>Internet retailers will hit their &quot;Christmas Eve&quot; over the next week, with both Amazon.co.uk and Play.com expecting their busiest periods of the season.</p><p>Robin Goad, research director at online research house Hitwise, said internet traffic will reach a high on Sunday, with sales peaking the following day. &quot;It&#39;s much later than usual,&quot; he said. &quot;Going back a few years, the key period for internet retailers was at the start of the first week in December. It&#39;s now moved to a week later.&quot; He added that internet retailers could enjoy a healthy Christmas, with traffic increasing by 19% between October and November this year.</p><p>Amy Worth, lead account manager for books at Amazon.co.uk, said it was expecting a &quot;huge Christmas&quot;. &quot;For us, last year our key day fell around the 11th or 12th,&quot; she said. &quot;We are still seeing a ramp up in terms of the number of orders, and are in the really key trading period now. But there are certainly busier days to come during the next week.&quot;</p><p>&quot;This week definitely is key for us,&quot; added Georgina Stoaling, books category manager at Play.com. &quot;The previous weekend was huge, and this will continue into early next week.&quot; Amazon has a wide range of delivery options available to customers, including same-day delivery up until Christmas Eve for selected areas. Play.com has yet to reveal its final guaranteed delivery date.<br /></p>