Christmas shoppers log on for Manic Monday

Christmas shopping begins in earnest today as thousands are expected to log on and splash out on "Manic Monday". According to comparison website Kelkoo, today is the busiest internet shopping day of the year, with sales expected to hit £537 million.

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The spending is likely to reach its peak in the lunch hour, predict Visa Europe, and kick off again come 7pm as customers rush to get their Christmas presents bought and paid for after pay day.

Around 74 per cent of shoppers plan on doing their gift-buying online this year, with one in 10 using their mobile phones to log on.

And according to Argos, it's the gadgets that will be flying off the shelves, with the iPod Touch and Nano topping many a Christmas list.

Ian Crook, of which carried out the research, told the Daily Mail: "We're expecting to ship more than 80,000 items today, as we face our busiest day of the year for online orders.

"This year, for the first time, we anticipate a significant amount of website orders to be placed by customers using their mobile phones, as more people do their Christmas shopping on the go to fit in around their busy lives."

However, it's not so much our busy lives that are causing us to log on this Christmas - 71 per cent said they simply couldn't face the crowded shops and endless queues.

There will be some poor souls hitting the high street though - the busiest day in the stores is expected to be Saturday December 18 when 10 million shoppers will make that last-minute dash for Christmas gifts, spending a whopping £764,000 per minute.

For those of you spending online today though, police have warned that customers should take extra care choosing websites as fraudsters will inevitably be looking to take advantage.

What do you think? Have you swapped the high street for online shopping and why? Leave your comments below...