Etailing is growing 13 times faster than the traditional retail sector, new research has found.
Online spend across all retail in the UK grew by 33.4% last year to a record £10.9 billion, according to a report by research group Verdict. It attributed the growth to cheaper broadband internet costs, as well as investment by retailers such as Oasis and Arcadia in new transactional websites, with Asda, Marks & Spencer and Tesco also scaling up their existing offers.
The report also highlighted several fashion retailers that were bucking the online trend, namely Matalan and Primark, whose business models depend on driving high sales densities from bricks-and-mortar stores, rather than online. "For these retailers, the case for major investment in transactional websites is far from proven," said report author Nick Gladding.
The report says UK online sales will surge to £28.1bn by 2011 - equivalent to 8.9% of all retail spending.
In the next four years, an online shopper's typical spend is forecast to grow to £1,056 per year, up from £606 in 2006. Clothing and footwear is expected to be a leading category.