Internet searches for discount vouchers have increased by 133% over the past year, according to online intelligence service Hitwise UK.
Discount vouchers distributed by stores on the internet and in emails are fast becoming an essential part of shopping, as consumers feeling the pinch look to make savings.
Discover our top tips for saving money on your Christmas shopping in our guide to hunting down online bargains.
High street and online retailers
More shoppers than ever are also abandoning the high street for the internet this Christmas, with many of the fastest-growing online stores being familiar high-street names.
During November, the top 100 high street retailer websites received 22% more UK Internet visits than the top 100 online only retailers.
The most recent IMRG-Hitwise Hot Shops List, which ranked the top 50 UK online shops in October, included 30 high street names.
Social networking sites drive traffic
Online stores are also getting more traffic from social networking sites, such as Facebook, than from email marketing campaigns.
During November this year, online stores received more than 5% of their UK internet traffic from social networking sites, such as Facebook, YouTube and Bebo, and 3.87% from online webmail services, such as Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and Gmail.
The biggest winners of traffic from social networks are fashion retailers. Three of the top 10 retail websites receiving traffic from social networks during November – ASOS, Top Shop and River Island – were fashion retailers.
We’ve reviewed and rated the most popular social networking sites – find out which sites came out top in our social networking sites review.
Best shopping websites
Which? provides comprehensive guides and reviews covering returns policies of online retailers, best shopping websites for food, as well as the best online shopping sites for toys and games, clothing, electrical goods, mobile phones and sports equipment.
The Which? guide to shopping safely online will help ensure you have the necessary security before you shop online.
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