Online retail sales reaching new heights

Online retail sales look set to break records this Christmas, with a wave of statistics showing that online shopping is reaching new heights among consumers keen to avoid the high-street crush.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that sales rose 0.4% in November to lift annual growth in online sales to 4.4%.

And the growth in e-retail is even more marked than that, according to figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-retail sales index.

The index calculated that consumers spent £5.4bn in November, up 22.5% on October and 65% high than the £3.2bn in recorded online sales in November 2006.

The report said improvements in ordering, fulfilment and deliver had boosted consumer confidence in shopping online, prompting many to turn to the internet this time around to buy Christmas gifts.

Jo Evans, IMRG’s managing director, said the online figures for December were likely to be even higher.

Last month price comparison specialist said UK online retail sales would hit £40bn this year – and predicted e-retail would more than quadruple to £162bn by 2020.

It said a total of 13.5 million UK consumers are now shopping online.

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