British retail websites benefited from an increase in traffic from online voucher sites in December, according to new figures from Hitwise.

One in 140 visits to e-commerce sites came from voucher websites last month, compared with one in 200 earlier in the year.

Overall, searches for online vouchers rose by 143 per cent in mid-December over the same period in 2007, Hitwise noted – suggesting that retailers would do well to incorporate voucher-related keywords into their search engine optimisation strategies.

Robin Goad, research director at Hitwise, highlighted the fact that searches for online vouchers seem to be catching up to those for sales.

"The variation in voucher searches is also notably less, implying that sales searches only have a limited lifespan, while vouchers are more consistent," he added.

A recent report from research company Packaged Facts suggested that a growing number of American consumers are making use of vouchers in light of the deteriorating economy.

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