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UK e-commerce sales to reach 45 billion pounds this year

Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 14:19 by Graham Miller

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British consumers are going to spend at least £45 billion shopping online for the first time ever in 2014, according to a new report from the Centre for Retail Research.

While analysts found that high street sales will see growth as well, the 2.4 per cent rise in bricks and mortar sales is nowhere near the 15.8 per cent increase that is expected on the web.

Report spokesperson, Giulio Montemagno, said that traditional retailers should not fear the expansion of shopping online, but should instead harness it, to better engage with customers and ensure prosperity in the long term.

The average UK shopper buys online about 18 times a year, spending £59 per spree. Analysts compared consumers from several different global regions and the UK was a leader in most respects.

Montemagno explained that while online shopping was reaching a state of maturity, growth was still possible not because more people are shopping online, but because those who do use e-commerce sites are spending cash with greater regularity.

Rather than occasionally looking to an online retailer for a special purchase, people are treating the internet as an everyday tool for their retail needs, which is a state of affairs that can only continue to fuel growth.

In 2014, the majority of Europe's e-commerce activity will be accounted for by the UK, France and Germany, according to the report, with British consumers putting the country ahead of its contemporaries for total sales.

£45 billion sounds like a significant sum, and will represent over a third of Europe's online spend this year. So consumers need to be aware of their rights and make sure that they shop safely every time they are online, to avoid disappointment and fend off criminals.