UK Named European Leader In E-commerce

eBay Shopping Retail Consumer eCommerce Web

New research might restore confidence for UK online retail brands – UK consumers spent more money on online purchases in 2011 than those in any other European county, with e-commerce now accounting for 17% of all retail, according to a new report from IMRG and Capgemini.

On the whole, last year marked stable growth for most UK e-commerce brands, with an average increase of 16% on last year’s sales, the report says. Britons spent a total of £68bn on purchases online, with almost £8bn spent in December alone, up 16.5% on the same period in 2010. This growth seems even more impressive bearing in mind that sales over the Christmas period had increased a massive 25% in 2010 compared to the year before, Chris Webster, head of retail and vice president of Capgemini, comments.

However, the report predicts that growth in online retail will slow to 13% in 2012, with some £77bn likely to be spent online during the course of the year.

In 2011 e-commerce recorded positive development despite slow growth in spending on clothes at the end of the year. Sales in this category grew by just 12% in December from 40% in the last month, year-on-year. Health and beauty registered faster growth, as it went up by 63% compared to the previous December, while the home and garden sector saw a 45% rise on last year. Accessories also performed well, with sales rising 46%, the report reveals.