E-tailers braced for Xmas buying peak

<p>Retailers are predicting their biggest day of internet trading next week as Deloitte&#39;s research arm said online sales would grow by 10% this year to &pound;4.7bn.</p><p>Internet retailers said that sales would continue right up until Christmas, or as close to it as possible, but several have identified Monday as being &quot;Christmas Eve for the internet&quot;.</p><p>Deloitte&#39;s research found that consumers shopping online were planning to spend 15% more than those just shopping on the high street. Researchers found that the overall number of consumers using the internet for Christmas shopping was stable but that they were using the internet more often and spending more online than ever before.</p><p>Play.com head of books Caroline Mileham forecast that this Monday (8th December) would be its biggest day but it planned to continue its &quot;Mega Monday&quot; price deals throughout December. The first offer, which was emailed to Play&#39;s customers last Monday, price-promoted five books.</p><p>Mileham said: &quot;There&#39;s definitely more confidence about shopping online and there are more established websites. They are now brands in their own right.&quot; </p><p>Amazon.co.uk is expecting its busiest day trading to fall within the next week. Last year, it shipped 950,000 items on Monday 10th December, a rate of 11 orders per second.</p><p>Head of e-commerce at Borders Julie Howkins said: &quot;We have seen a surge in sales over the past weekend and are predicting Monday or Tuesday next week will be our busiest days.&quot;</p><p>Howkins said that one title working particularly well was Harry Hill&#39;s <em>Joke Book</em>, being sold at &pound;3.50. The retailer also launched an online game on its site on Wednesday, which rewarded customers with a range of prizes including 40% off the r.r.p. of any book. Howkins added: &quot;We have been replicating as much as possible the offers we have carried instore.&quot;</p><p>Waterstone&#39;s emailed its customers this week to promote 20% off children&#39;s books on its website until Thursday. Tesco also sent emails highlighting half-price hardbacks, including Dawn French and Jamie Oliver titles.</p>