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Brits spend more online in January

20 February 2017 - 12:50 by Mike Price

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just released new figures which show that consumers in the UK spent 10 per cent more via safe shopping online last month than they did in January of 2016. This reflects the ongoing upward trend in e-commerce activity, although analysts also noted that there was still a dip compared with December last year.

Report spokesperson, Kate Davies, said that there was indeed a month on month drop in the overall number of sales, even when the figures are adjusted for the usual seasonal peaks and troughs in consumer activity. She pointed to price rises for food and fuel as being instrumental in determining this trend, according to Internet Retailing.

Department stores which operate sites that offer safe shopping online experienced the biggest growth in spending last month, with year on year figures up by almost a fifth. And there are other positive signs about the state of the market, with many retailers expressing optimism about how things will progress over the course of 2017 and beyond.

The pressure being put on prices as a result of inflation and the weakening pound is still an issue, causing some brands to increase how much they are charging for popular products. But with the ability to compare items online, consumers still have a means of saving money.

Observers have pointed out that the slowdown in spending that occurs in January is to be expected, since the post-Christmas period is one during which consumers restrict their outgoings after letting loose over the festive season. There is hope that consumer confidence will remain high as the year progresses, helping both online and in-store sales to remain positive, although the true impact of Brexit could be felt in the retail sector before it hits elsewhere.