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£8 billion spent online in December

23 January 2012 - 09:06 by Mike Price

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British consumers have once more been reminded of their love for safe shopping online, by figures which show that e-commerce sales were up by 16.5 per cent in the last month of 2011, totalling more than £8 billion spent on the internet.

Analyst firm, Capgemini, has finalised figures for the whole e-commerce market throughout last year, with UK shoppers making it yet another record by spending £68 billion online. In all, this is a 16 per cent rise compared with 2010, according to The Guardian.

Analyst, Freddie George, said that although safe shopping online had yet another bumper year, the retail sector when viewed as a whole is not looking so healthy and may actually have shrunk in the past 12 months.

E-commerce is still a relatively small slice of the whole retail pie, with online transactions accounting for 17 per cent of the market in 2011.

Experts predict that an increased focus on m-commerce, thanks to the popularity of smartphones and tablets, will encourage even more online shopping in 2012.

At the end of this year, analysts estimate that £77 billion will have been spent online, which is a 13 per cent rise. This does suggest that e-commerce expansion is slowing its rate of growth as saturation levels increase.

Capgemini spokesperson, Chris Webster, said that 2011 was a year in which shoppers became far savvier about finding a bargain and loyalty to a retailer was not enough to dissuade them from looking elsewhere if the price was right.

Some areas of e-commerce grew less strongly last year than others, with travel and fashion sales expanding by just 12 per cent, having experienced 40 per cent growth in 2010.

Luxury brands are doing stellar business despite the economic downturn, with less prestigious marques failing to win favour with consumers.