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UK shoppers spend £5 billion online in July

23 August 2010 - 14:42 by Sarah Collinson

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Consumers are continuing to spend money online, with £5 billion passing through virtual checkouts in July 2010 alone, which is up by almost a fifth compared to the same month in 2009.

Although the global recession had an impact on the growth of online shopping, 2010 has been a bumper year for retailers and consumers alike, with low prices and online-only deals luring millions of people away from the high street.

In June and July of this year, online spending increased by 14 per cent, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

Industry analyst Chris Webster said that the online retail market was finally showing signs of stabilisation, with growth returning to levels not seen for three years. Mr Webster admitted that consumers had lost confidence in safe shopping online during the economic meltdown, but said that this was returning over time.

Retailers are set to pump money into online shopping services over the next few months, according to new analysis performed by Martec International. Firms that are currently limiting their investment in e-commerce are unlikely to continue with this austere strategy in the long term, said Martec.

The weather in July apparently had a significant impact on the amount that UK consumers spent online, with holiday firms seeing sales increase by a third as Brits sought to avoid the rainy domestic conditions for sunnier foreign destinations.

Interestingly, it was those high street retailers that also offer safe shopping online that managed the greatest gains in July, with firms limited to an online-only platform growing just eight per cent compared to the 18 per cent experienced by cross platform retailers.

Industry expert David Smith suggested that those businesses that sell their products solely via the internet would need to work hard in order to keep pace with their multi-channel rivals.