In July online shopping sales exceeded £4bn for the first time, up 80% on last year, with sales up £1.86bn on July 2006. The highest sales growth was in electrical goods, with sales 102% higher than the previous year according to the IMRG Index, which records UK online retail sales.
July's 80% year-on-year growth is in stark contrast with the average of the preceding 12 months of just 36%.
Ulric Jerome, Pixmania's managing director for France and Northern Europe, said: "Since the beginning of the year we have seen that confidence in internet shopping has reached a high level in the mindset of consumers."
Online clothing sales were 56% higher than a year earlier, reaching a record high, with growth of 1,587% from February 2001 to July 2007. Factors contributing to July's strong growth included the wet weather encouraging people to shop online, many new-season catalogues being published, and new or updated websites with greatly expanded product ranges.
James Roper, IMRG's chief executive, said: "July's extraordinarily strong market growth spotlights the high level of consumer demand, and yet we are really only just beginning to see basic facilities arriving, and still have nowhere near enough capacity to meet shoppers' appetite for e-retail."
According to a separate study by uSwitch, online shopping will account for almost 40% of all UK retail sales by 2020 and online sales will quadruple. USwitch attributes the online shopping boom to Britain's peaking broadband revolution. Hundreds of consumers are signing up to broadband every day, with around 13m people now taking advantage of the faster speeds and lower prices offered by the service. Over the Christmas period, many retailers saw their in-store profits fall while online sales soared.
According to uSwitch, 8m UK households spend, on average, two hours a day shopping online. The most popular online purchases are holidays, films and music, with insurance, computer software, clothing and sporting goods also popular choices.
Steve Weller, head of communications services at uSwitch, said: "Over the last year, broadband prices have fallen by up to 17% while speeds have gone up, making it cheaper and simpler for customers to log on. Online security has improved, so peace of mind is greater than ever before, and the internet makes it easy to shop at multiple stores at once to get the best deals."
This article was first published on brandrepublic.com