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Brits spent 114 billion pounds online last year

20 January 2016 - 13:32 by Graham Miller

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The importance of shopping online to the UK economy is regularly stated by experts, but sometimes seeing raw figures is the best way to grasp the significance of its impact. And, according to the latest report from IMRG Capgemini, the amount consumers spent online in 2015 was a staggering £114 billion.

This represents an 11 per cent year on year increase, indicating that although e-commerce is becoming increasingly ubiquitous, there is still plenty of momentum in this market, even with high street sales still shrinking at the moment.

£24.4 billion of this total was spent in the eight weeks prior to Christmas last year, which is a 12 per cent annual increase and an indication that the power of the festive shopping period is particularly important for retailers to harness.

Almost a fifth of all festive spending online occurred during the seven day period surrounding the Black Friday flash sale.

2016 is expected to be a similarly positive year for the e-commerce market, although there are questions over whether it will be possible to sustain double digit growth figures for much longer, or whether people are so widely engaged with online services that the market may finally reach a plateau.

One factor which has helped to stimulate online shopping in the past couple of years is the rise of smartphones and tablets. And 2015 was also significant for being the first year in which the number of people carrying out web searches on mobile devices overtook traditional desktop searches.

The m-commerce revolution seems unlikely to slow its pace in 2016 and this means that consumers will be even more discerning about the types of experiences that are available to them, as well as the security of shopping from smartphones.