The UK spends more online than any other European country, according to a new study from internet shopping comparison site Kelkoo and the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).
Some 30 per cent of all online retail sales across Europe during 2010 were made in the UK, where trading reached a total of £44 billion.
Data from the study suggests that UK sales made over the web in 2011 will rise by £6.2 billion, or 14 per cent, year-on-year.
Last week, IMRG and Capgemini’s e-Retail Sales Index for December showed that UK online sales reached £6.8 billion for the month alone, helping the 2010 e-tail market increase by 18 per cent year-on-year.
James Roper, CEO of IMRG, told Retail Gazette that British online retail is Europe-leading for numerous reasons, such as the range of products it offers, the number of retailers there are with transactional websites and the nation’s competence in cross-border trading.
“British retailers have seized the opportunity that online provides,” he explained.
“There were some early successes after the dotcom crash in 2000, such as online fashion house Asos.com, which pointed the way for others.
“This prompted the high street into action, with most of the traditional big players in the market taking notice and offering sales via the web.”
The CRR indicates that the UK’s nearest challengers in online retail are Germany and France, where sales reached £33 billion and £26 billion respectively, although the latter is expected to see significant growth in sales of 24 per cent this year.
Only Poland, out of the 11 European countries analysed, is expected to see internet trading increase further than France in the 12 months ahead, while it is also predicted that online retail will be a large growth market in Sweden this year.
Richard Stables, CEO of Kelkoo, commented: “Over the last five years internet retailing has improved substantially thanks to the use of affordable ‘always-on’ internet connections, simple and secure payment systems, and the growth of mobile-based retail sites.
“All of these factors helped to attract an additional five million new online shoppers across Europe last year, and should help online retail sales to continue to thrive.
“We don’t see consumers’ appetite for online shopping showing signs of abating anytime soon.”