More customers used tablets than mobile phones to order groceries on over the festive period.

Waitrose said 22.8% of orders over Christmas were made using a tablet, compared with 16.5% made via a mobile phone.

The use of tablets to place orders online has been growing rapidly as sales of the devices boom. Retailers reported that they were one of the most popular Christmas gifts of 2012, making it likely that use will continue to rise.

“We are increasingly seeing our online customers shopping anytime, anywhere and any place using technology such as smartphones and tablets to place orders under the duvet or on the bus,” said Waitrose e-commerce director Robin Phillips.

Waitrose reported that online grocery sales grew by 37% over the festive period, contributing to a 4.3% increase in like-for-like sales from 4 November to 24 December.

The BRC said around 15% of Christmas sales were made online, accounting for all the 1.5% year-on-year sales growth in December, with smartphones and tablet sales singled out as boom areas.