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Online shopping accounts for 30 per cent of retail market

10 December 2014 - 10:37 by Graham Miller

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Figures published this week by the British Retail Consortium, have shown that almost a third of all purchases made by UK consumers over the course of November 2014 were carried out via safe shopping online, with everything from clothing to home appliances seeing a sharp rise.

This is the first time that e-commerce sales have passed this milestone, with Black Friday helping to push November into the record books.

The figures do not include grocery shopping, with the most popular online purchase last month turning out to be shoes, with more than a third of all footwear sales occurring via safe shopping online, according to the Telegraph.

Meanwhile, about 25 per cent of clothing sales occurred online, with the overall frequency with which consumers used the internet to shop up by a tenth, year on year.

The BRC study found that half of all consumers who will be placing online orders this Christmas are planning to do so from a mobile device or a tablet, while other incentives to use an e-commerce site include click & collect services, that let shoppers bypass the usual delivery system.

Of course, this intense online activity has put many retailers under strain, not to mention the companies they rely on to deliver the items ordered by customers.

Industry analyst, David McCorquodale, said that for some firms, the stress test of the festive period was already proving too much to bear. He called on retailers to increase the capacity both of their websites and their distribution centres at this busy time of year, or else face the prospect of consumers feeling disenfranchised with the e-commerce experience.

Even with some delivery issues, the ascent of online shopping in the UK is unstoppable and mobile devices are adding to consumer interest.