The UK e-commerce market is poised for growth of 16% this year, which will push the volume of sales generated in this sector up to £45 billion. The growth will come as a result of an increase in the online spend of local consumers, expected to break the £1,000 barrier per average shopper for the first time, figures from new global research suggest.
RetailMeNot and the Centre for Retail Research studied online sales patterns across eight countries in Europe and the US. According to the joint study, online retail sales in Europe will hit £131.2 billion this year – an estimated growth of 18%.
The UK was Europe’s largest e-commerce market in 2013, generating revenues of £38.8 billion. This year, it is expected to contribute to 34% of all online retail sales in the eight European markets studied, and to account for the majority (81%) of e-commerce revenues together with France and Germany.
By comparison, the US is forecast to experience a 15% increase in online sales this year to £189.3 billion.
In Europe, online shopping is now popular with 46% of consumers. The percentage of UK consumers buying items online is one of the highest in the region – at 67% – second only to Sweden, where 71% of consumers make purchases on the web.
The study, which featured data based on interviews with 9,000 consumers, also showed that most shoppers expect to make at least one online purchase per month in 2014. European shoppers will likely make 15.2 online transactions on average, spending £49 per purchase, while UK consumers are expected to make 18 purchases, splashing out £59 each time.