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UK consumers spend £6 billion online in June

20 July 2012 - 12:41 by Graham Miller

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June was a bumper month for safe shopping online in the UK, with consumers splashing out £6 billion during this period, which is a 13 per cent year on year increase, according to figures from IMRG Capgemini.

The first half of 2012 was generally a positive one for the UK's e-commerce industry, with sales up by 12.5 per cent to £34.9 billion.

Easily the most significant area for growth was the m-commerce sector, with a 356% rise in sales during June, when compared to the equivalent period in 2011.

Capgemini spokesperson, Chris Webster, pointed out that the typical amount spent via a portable device is now equivalent to that spent by someone shopping from their laptop or desktop computer.

About 8 per cent of all cash spent via safe shopping online is channelled through smartphones and tablets, according to the report.

Many expect that mobile phones and tablets will become even more important in the wider retail market, as a result of NFC (near field communication) capabilities.

NFC chips are being integrated into more and more devices, allowing users to make contactless payments in shops, without having to pull out a card or cash.

While Google has been pushing NFC with its Android platform and its own digital payment system, many are convinced that Apple might also be getting into the market with the upcoming iPhone 5, at which point the profile of this technology will dramatically increase.

Even the newly released Google Nexus 7 tablet has NFC onboard, although there are some sceptics who doubt whether consumers will find it easier to get out a seven inch tablet at the till, than simply use their existing payment cards or coins and notes.

Ultimately, e-commerce and m-commerce are altering the UK's retail sector and growing in significance by the year.