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E-commerce growth strengthens in October

11 November 2011 - 09:26 by Mike Price

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Last month the number of people shopping online in the UK grew by 11.5 per cent year on year, bolstering the market and making up for a slight slide during September.

Figures published by KPMG and the British Retail Consortium, indicated that people taking to the web to get their Christmas shopping done early contributed to positive performance for e-commerce sites during October.

The high street did not fare nearly as well last month, with statistics showing that people are still turning away from bricks and mortar stores, either spending their cash via cheap shopping online or choosing to tighten purse strings and operate with more limited budgets.

British Retail Consortium spokesperson, Stephen Robertson, said that the fundamental issue facing the market at the moment is the fact that UK consumers do not have the confidence to spend money.

Mr Robertson pointed out that the future was bleaker for the high street than the online market because e-commerce growth was continuing to gather speed in October and outpace real world outlets by a significant degree.

The year-end results for sales on the high street could end up showing negative growth of half a percent, according to price comparison site, Kelkoo. Meanwhile, the e-commerce market is predicted to grow by over 17 per cent in 2011, which will indicate the size of the impact that online shopping is having across the country.

Analysts are still cagey about how the coming winter will affect e-commerce sales, since poor weather conditions cannot be ruled out and after last year's compromising conditions, the market could take another hit if deliveries cannot be made in time for Christmas.

However, it does not seem that even a cold winter will take the sheen off another positive year for online shopping.