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Record Christmas e-commerce activity confirmed for 2013

13 January 2014 - 14:39 by Graham Miller

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The British Retail Consortium is the latest industry body to reveal that Christmas last year was the biggest ever for safe shopping online in the UK, even as the high street floundered.

Its work with KPMG has indicated that the annual increase in e-commerce sales in December 2013 was 19.2 per cent, which is not only a marked rise in its own right, but also the biggest leap upwards since 2010.

BRC spokesperson, Helen Dickinson, said that one of the reasons for the boost in shopping online was that e-commerce retailers had spent money on improving their websites and making it easier for customers to carry out purchases, according to BBC News.

She also said that delivery times had been improved by many online outlets, which means people were more likely to place their orders via the web, rather than relying on real world stores for last minute present purchases.

When looking at the retail market as a whole in the UK last month and combining online and high street activities, sales were up by just 0.4 per cent, which does not make for encouraging reading.

18.6 per cent of all non-food purchases made in December 2013 were accounted for by e-commerce sales, which is a higher proportion of total spending than ever seen before.

Growing use of smartphones and tablets has once again been pointed to as another key factor in making more people buy products online, rather than at high street shops.

Supermarkets fared less well, with a 0.6 per cent dip in food sales recorded, even if they were able to ride the wave of e-commerce interest.

2014 is likely to be another record breaking year for online shopping, especially as bricks and mortar sales are continuing to trail off.