Online auctioneer eBay is for the first time Britain’s most-visited e-commerce website, having ousted from top spot.

According to new figures from Nielsen/NetRatings, eBay attracted 6.8 million UK visitors in March, a rise of 160% from the same month last year. Amazon jumped 28% to 6.1m over the same period, while visitors to the internet as a whole crept up 7%.

This is the first time eBay has topped Nielsen’s poll since the research firm began surveying the sector in 2000.

The auctioneer also performs well in categories other than audience size. Its visitors spend an average of one hour and eleven minutes on the site, longer than nearly all its ecommerce rivals. It was also one of the few UK sites to register over one billion page views in March.

“This is a very important development as the performance of the ecommerce category is one of the key indicators of the health of the internet in general,” declared Nielsen analyst Tim Roe. “The growth of eBay and Amazon, as two of the most profitable and successful players in this sector, is a significant sign of the potential of using the internet to reach and sell to consumers.”

Data sourced from: Nielsen/NetRatings (UK); additional content by WARC staff