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Online spending to buck downward trend

Online spending in the UK is set to reach £56bn by 2014 as the web defies the recession, according to analyst Forrester Research. Internet sales will grow at a yearly rate of six per cent over the next six years, says the survey, which covered more than 4,100 UK consumers as well as large retailers with a web presence.According to Forrester, around 28 million UK consumers shop online today and the figure is set to jump to 37 million by 2014, the equivalent of £56bn in value.

UK consumers are leading the online shopping trend, with spending reaching around £1,312 per person per year. By comparison, Germans spend £771 a year online and the French spend £693 annually.

“Leading UK retailers such as Argos, Next, and Tesco have begun integrating their channels in search of seamless cross-channel customer experiences to help drive substantial sales growth,” says the Forrester report.

Popular items among online shoppers in the UK are books, DVDs and leisure travel, while the French are likely to shop for clothes, books and leisure travel. Books, clothing and event tickets are the most common items to be purchased online in Germany.

“For the past decade, online shopping in the UK has been driven by a virtuous cycle,” said Forrester retail analyst Victoria Bracewell Lewis.


“Growing numbers of UK online shoppers and growing online spend per shopper encourage retailers and travel operators to improve their online offerings, which in turn draw more shoppers and higher spending.”

According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, UK shoppers spent over £4.6bn during the Christmas period last year, an increase of more than 14 per cent year on year - equivalent to £76.67 for every person in the UK.