LONDON: UK online shoppers are expected to spend more than £1bn on Black Friday, an increase of 32% on last year, according to the latest retail estimates.
That would represent the first time ever that UK online sales exceed £1bn in a single day and suggests online retailers can expect a bumper pre-Christmas shopping season, said research firm Experian.
Working with IMRG, the UK's industry body for online retailers, Experian forecast £1.07bn will be spent on Black Friday, which takes place on 27 November this year.
However, the shopping bonanza imported from the US is not the only peak day that is expected to record strong growth on last year.
Experian and IMRG forecast Cyber Monday on 30 November will generate £943m in sales, up 31% year-on-year, and Manic Monday on 7 December to record £733m, a rise of 10%.
Turning to the more traditional festive days, the report predicted shopping on Christmas Day to grow 11% to £728m this year while Boxing Day sales increase 22% to £856m.
Of the six days covered in the report, sales on New Year's Day are predicted to increase the most (33%) year-on-year, although overall spend is expected to be lower at £638m.
"The 2015 Christmas period is on track to be another record year for online retail in the UK," said James Miller, senior retail consultant at Experian Marketing Services.
"We expect that Black Friday will continue to break new ground for online shopping, passing the billion pound mark for the first time."
With consumers now expecting bargains and trouble-free service, he advised retailers to make sure "they have planned their marketing strategies and logistics around these key dates, with carefully prepared cross-channel campaigns" and via the right media.
IMRG managing director Justin Opie also urged retailers to get prepared, considering the logistical problems of last year when many retailers struggled with sometimes overwhelming demand.
"All the indicators point to a much larger Black Friday this year – both in terms of greater numbers of retailers taking part and growing shopper interest," he said.
"So the opportunity is vast, but there are many things to consider if it is to be managed efficiently and effectively."
Data sourced from Experian, IMRG; additional content by Warc staff