Non-food online sales grew by the fastest rate for four years, according to the BRC- KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.
Online sales jumped 19.2 per cent in January 2014 compared to last January’s 13.5 per cent rise and now represents almost a fifth of total non-food sales (17.4 per cent.)
Fashion and home accessories posted the strongest online sales growth after an upturn in the housing market helped sales.
Like-for-like sales increased by 3.9 per cent in January - the biggest jump since January 2011.
Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said it was another strong set of sales figures.
“The combination of an online presence with a bricks and mortar offering is becoming increasingly compelling,” she explained. “We’re expecting this number (non-food online spending) to continue to rise as operations become more efficient, collections more convenient, deliveries faster and technology more integrated.”
The comparatively warmer weather in January meant that shoppers bought lighter foods after last years’ snow warnings persuaded consumers to stock up.
David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “With growth at 19 per cent and penetration from online sales running at 17 per cent, this channel is much more than the new frontier for retailers and really is the growth engine for the sector. Many retailers are investing heavily in analytics and supply chain fulfilment to drive personalisation of offer to the consumer and differentiate themselves from competitors through delivery performance.
He added: “As online growth drives about a third of non-food sales expansion, retailers are doing all they can to fully embrace the growth prospects offered.”