Online auction site eBay has overtaken Amazon as the UK's leading e-commerce site, according to the latest figures from Nielsen/Netratings.

The research firm, which tracks traffic on the internet, found that eBay's popularity has been growing over the past few months, allowing it to overtake long-time internet favourite Amazon for the first time since the company started reporting on the UK's online population in March 00.

Since March 02 eBay has boosted its audience by 160 percent to 6.8 million visitors; in the same period Amazon has only managed to attract an increase of 28 percent, leaving it with 6.1 million users. That said, both are bucking the overall trend as internet use has grown by just seven percent since last March.

EBay isn't just managing to pull in the visitors, though, it is also holding on to them once they arrive. On average users stay on the site for one hour and 11 minutes, which is one of the longest amounts of time spent on any UK site.

Because of the way eBay works, encouraging bidders to keep coming back to check the status of the item they are trying to buy, it has also achieved a bumper figure for the number of pages viewed per person, per month. In March over a billion pages were viewed on eBay sites in the UK, making it one of the few sites to achieve a billion page views per month.