Tablet PC use jumped 50 per cent over Christmas Day and Boxing Day in 2011 compared with 2010, according to figures released by IMRG and eDigitalResearch.
The two firms’ annual Christmas activity survey also revealed that a "record number" of consumers visited social media sites over the two days, with 45 per cent logging on, compared with 20.8 per cent last year.
There was also a one per cent rise in the number of people going online, with 86 per cent of all UK online consumers logging in over the two-day period.
Derek Eccleston, head of research at eDigitalResearch, said: “Looking at the results, we can see that the internet is now a crucial part of everyday consumer life. Many see logging on during Christmas and Boxing Day as the norm, especially when trying out new gadgets and Christmas gifts. The rise in tablet use and social media sites is an indication for retailers [of] what is to come in 2012 and it is important to optimise shopping and browsing use across all available channels in order to boost income and customer loyalty.”
In addition, the survey said that more people used the internet as well as their smartphones for Christmas shopping in 2011, with 71 per cent purchasing "some" gifts online – a 1.3 per cent increase on 2010.
Half (50 per cent) of online consumers revealed they do the majority of their shopping online and 18 per cent of smartphone owners did up to half their shopping online.
Andrew McClelland, chief operations and policy officer at IMRG, said: “iPads and Kindles were among the most wished-for gifts this Christmas and their popularity as a means for accessing the web is booming. The phenomenal popularity of social media is also continuing to grow at a remarkable rate, with over double the amount of people logging on to them over Christmas Day and Boxing Day compared with 2010.
"Social networks and tablets need to be considered as a key part of any retailer’s marketing strategy, as the opportunities for consumer engagement through these channels are becoming very apparent," he added.
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