UK web statistics for October show a strong rise in visits to eBay UK and other online retailers as users searched for Christmas presents.
"We would expect to see an upward trend in traffic to online retail sites in the UK in October," said Bob Ivins, executive vice president of European markets at internet monitoring firm comScore.
"A survey in the last week of October found that 48 per cent of UK respondents had already begun shopping for Christmas, but what is perhaps more notable is the rate of this growth.
"Multi-channel high street stores like Woolworths and Boots experienced significant increases and, if this trend continues, we should see very strong online sales for high street stores this Christmas."
The research is reflected by similar surges at retail sites across Europe. Louis Vitton saw the largest increase in monthly visits in France, beaten only by transport sites as commuters looked for a way around the strikes.
Only the Germans are failing to shop online in droves, it seems, although an increased interest in gaming sites following the launch of Halo 3 has driven growth in the country.
Google.co m was the number one page visited in all countries, according to the comScore research.
Around two thirds of French and German internet users visited the site during October, rising to nine out of 10 in the UK.
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