Shoppers will be holding onto their cash for even longer this year as they search for bargains, according to the head of price comparison site Kelkoo.
Kelkoo MD Bruce Fair told silicon.com online stores are most likely to see their highest sales on 15 December.
Early last month, researchers from the Capgemini e-retail index forecast 1pm to 2pm on 8 December will be the most lucrative hour for online retailers, but Fair said activity on his site indicated shoppers will play a waiting game to get the best deals.
"People are waiting to get a better deal for the next week. The danger is if shoppers wait too long, they will be forced into going to the high street," he said.
Activity on the price comparison site has increased month-on-month by 30 per cent, indicating consumers are looking for low prices as Christmas approaches.
Fair said many online retailers are anticipating shoppers holding out to the last minute by guaranteeing deliveries up to 20 December with Amazon even guaranteeing deliveries up 23 December.
Fair predicted the retail sector will have a hard time next year but online stores will have a better experience than high street sites.
"Pureplay online retailers won't be as exposed because they don't have the overheads of the high street and they have the ability to run leaner for longer to maintain their business model," he said.