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Why you are reading this story on Christmas Day

It may be the one day of the year that we're supposed to "disconnect" and be with the family, but more of us than ever are on our phones and tablets right now, surfing and shopping for deals.

Deal hunters: Christmas Day surfing for festive bargains via mobile devices is on the increase

Deal hunters: Christmas Day surfing for festive bargains via mobile devices is on the increase

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At 3pm today (25 December), John Lewis predicts that its online trade from tablets will massively spike as people take their new devices for a road test after the Queen's Speech.

With mobile making up almost 50% of all traffic to the John Lewis website on 25 December 2012, the retailer expects that mobile will overtake desktop traffic, for the first time, at 5pm today.

Gifts of iPad Air and Ipad Mini - forecast to lead the surge in consumer electronics at John Lewis - as well as devices such as Tesco’s Hudl, which is predicted to hit sales of 600,000 in the three months since its launch, will mean more of us than ever will be surfing and shopping on Christmas Day.

Surfing for festive bargains on your tablet while watching the Dr Who Christmas special will become as traditional in UK homes as the Queen's Speech

Last year, John Lewis found that the peak hour for mobile traffic on Christmas Day was 9pm.

Chris Webster, vice-president, retail of Capgemini, said it would come as no surprise that Christmas and Boxing Day would mark a high-point for what has been a "remarkable" 12 months in mobile.

He said: "With the growth of m-retail, surfing for festive bargains on your tablet while watching the 'Doctor Who' Christmas special will become as traditional in UK homes as the Queen's Speech."

Christmas Day sales online are forecast by IMRG to top £350m, with Boxing Day exceeding £540m. IMRG puts this down to more multi-screening as we sit down to watch Christmas films.

According to the IMRG Quarterly Benchmarking, visits to retailers' websites via mobile devices now account for 38% of total visits, up by 58% on the same period last year.

On previous Christmas Days, Amazon has seen an 11am sales peak for buying gift cards, followed by midday gift-card spending.

Christmas Day 2012 was the fifth-busiest shopping day online in the UK last year, with 107 million visits to retail websites, according to Ipsos Retail Performance, while Boxing Day surpassed all records with 113 million visits as retailers brought forward their winter sales.

The proportion of online ads served on tablets has increased from 14% of ad impressions in the fourth quarter of 2012, to a predicted 36% this quarter, according to research by global mobile ad firm Adfonic.

Cloud company Rackspace predicted earlier this month that 65% of us would be going online in the UK on Christmas Day. Based on a survey of 2000 UK web users, it found that 21% of UK adults will shop online using a tablet (up from 12% from 2012), while Christmas shopping on smartphones will account for 16%.

Some 83% of 18- to 24-year-olds will be going online on Christmas Day, forecast Rackspace, as opposed to 45% of 55-year-olds.

This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk

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