08/12/2016 07:01 GMT | Updated 06/12/2017 05:12 GMT

Just Another Manic Monday: As December Descends, Christmas Shoppers Get Online Early In The Week

Deals, discounts and, when the bargains are especially good, destruction: these are just some of the things we've come to associate with Black Friday. The retail campaign originally born of the extended American thanksgiving holiday continues to gather popularity amongst UK shoppers, who spent £1.23bn this year, up 12% from 2015.

But in the UK, it's not just high profile dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday that are driving sales in the run up to Christmas: last year, Mondays proved the busiest online shopping days of the week (post-Cyber Monday) ahead of Christmas Day. After all, who doesn't fancy a touch of festive retail therapy to brighten up a dreary Monday morning?

Pre-Christmas weekends are busy times. Spending time with friends and family, and getting into the spirit of the silly season leaves little time for gift buying, especially when you have a houseful of people and you're cramming in another brunch or round of mulled cider. That's where Mondays come in. At Criteo, we've noticed that more and more people are shopping at the start of the week - straight after the weekend - so they can buy their gifts away from curious eyes and the lure of yet another mince pie.

Last year, 50% of online transactions that took place between Black Friday and Christmas were carried out on a mobile, and successful retailers have leveraged the trend. Apps and mobile optimised websites are better than ever before, meaning that choosing the perfect presents for your loved ones is simple and convenient. But with online shopping, the devil is in the delivery. How long is it going to take to ship? Do they offer next day delivery or even same day? Ordering on a Monday gives people a wider choice of delivery slots within the week, allowing a slot to be selected when loved ones aren't around.

So what are we spending our Monday money on? Perhaps it's the fear of missing out on this year's 'must haves' that makes toys and gadgets the most popular items bought in the Monday peaks between Black Friday and Christmas Day. Fashion is the next most-shopped-for category, as people's attention turns to glittery jumpers and all things sparkly for Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.

Knowing how consumers are shopping, and on what day, is critical for online retail success year-round - but with record spending around Christmas, getting it right at this time of year is essential. With sales spikes of up to 15% occurring on the Mondays before Christmas, retailers would do well to adjust their targeting strategies and employ personalised product recommendations to maximise the early week conversion peak.

So while Black Friday remains one of the key milestone for online retailers, Mondays are really where it's at. So look to the future now...for big Mondays, it's only just beguuuunn!