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Brits spend £1 billion online every week

31 March 2017 - 12:27 by Graham Miller

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The Office for National Statistics has just released figures which show that consumers in the UK are collectively splashing out around £1 billion shopping online each week, according to Internet Retailing.

This trend was established last month and represents a 20.7 per cent year on year increase in seven day spending.

Across the retail market as a whole, the ONS estimates that sales were up by 5.1 per cent, although report spokesperson, Kate Davies, said that growth rates in February fell, as had been anticipated.

She said that one of the reasons that sales had not been as strong across the board as they were online is that the price of petrol was on the increase, meaning consumers had less cash to spend in other areas.

Sales of groceries via safe shopping online were up by 14 per cent last month, meaning that almost five per cent of all food is sold in the e-commerce arena. And it is not just supermarkets that are benefitting from the ongoing shift to web-based retail, as department stores also enjoyed a 10.4 per cent increase in online sales in February.

Analysts are confident that the growth of online shopping will continue throughout 2017 and beyond, although the speed with which people choose to adopt e-commerce over bricks and mortar retail will be dependent on a range of factors.

Economic uncertainty has a marked impact on consumer confidence and thus spending, with the triggering of Article 50 this week and the Brexit negotiations to come likely to put consumers on less solid ground for the next few years. But of course this might work in favour of web-based outlets, since shoppers will be putting affordability and value for money at the top of the agenda when buying essential items.