Web retailers have been investing in paid search advertising in a bid to get ahead of the competition in the build-up to Christmas.
Data from digital marketing agency Performics shows that there has been an increase in the number of companies using such services.
Overall spending on paid search rose 73 per cent in the last week of October, when compared to the same period in 2010.
Dan Parks, associate director of strategy and analytics for Performics, revealed: "Retailers are attempting to capture market share in the weeks before Black Friday."
"We're seeing heavier spending pushes coming one to two weeks earlier than last year."
However, increased competition for certain keywords is making cost per click more expensive - the average price rose by 32 per cent in the first week of November, when compared to 12 months ago.
A study by Forrester Research predicts that web sales at Christmas will rise by as much as 15 per cent this year.
Posted by Paul Newton