The credit crunch is spurring increasing numbers of Britons to log on to the web and search for the best retail deals, Hitwise has said.

In news that may interest those looking to increase visitor conversions, the research firm noted that traffic to price comparison websites fell in the two years prior to July 2007, but increased by 20 per cent in the 12 months to July 2008.

Furthermore, searches for online sales have tripled in the last year, while voucher website traffic has increased by 130 per cent.

"This is the first real economic downturn to have occurred during the internet age and Hitwise data provides some fascinating insights into how people are reacting," stated Robin Goad, UK research director for Hitwise.

Earlier this year, Nielsen Online published statistics showing that money-saving websites dominated the top ten fastest growing web properties in the UK in the 12 months to June.

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