Jingle bells are about to turn into alarm bells for Australians, leading to the busiest online shopping day of the year.
eBay Australia says Monday will be its busiest day of the entire year as people begin their gift shopping in earnest, with an estimated 2.6 million visitors predicted on the site.
The busiest hour is expected between 8pm and 9pm – when dinner is over and Australians are settled down with their devices – with the most manic 15 minutes of 2018 anticipated to come between 8.30pm and 8.45pm.
More than three quarters of visitors will be shopping on mobile devices.
Hot on the gift list will again be the iPhone, with one expected to be sold via eBay Australia every 90 seconds.
But in inland Queensland, in the thriving city of Toowoomba, the spending habits will echo decades gone-by with CDs tipped to be a top sale item.
Residents further north in Mackay, however, will target items to spruce up their sun-kissed homes, such as artificial flowers and floral furnishings.
And in the cosmopolitan areas, Sydney’s top items are expected to be moisturisers and other beauty products, while those in Victoria’s Werribee will opt for jewellery.
About 55 per cent of all purchases are forecast to be from the online retailer’s network of about 40,000 sellers.
Video game and boardgame retailer The Gamesmen’s Daniel Cusumano said their business – which sells both online and through a store front – makes about 50 per cent of its revenue in the three months before Christmas.
‘People traditionally go to the shops and fight the crowds but they’re all going online now, so if you have a business that can sell an item online then you want to be in that space,’ he told AAP.
Aussies are better prepared this year, says eBay head of retail insights for Australia and New Zealand Gavin Dennis, with a proportion of items being bought a week earlier than they have in the last few years.
‘Electronics, health and beauty, toys and jewellery will be the most popular items; this year we’re also expecting to see even more buying Apple products, with a purchase every 48 seconds,’ Mr Dennis said.
The habits suggest consumers will be thinking of the children first, with a toy sold every three seconds.
But they won’t be neglecting their own Christmas cheer, however, with a bottle of alcohol predicted to be sold every 42 seconds.