According to a report by Verdict Research, online sales growth will outstrip offline sales which will see a growth of just 1.2% this year.
The online retail market is now worth around £19.5 billion, accounting for about 7% of total retail expenditure.
For most retailers, the key to success will be multi-channel retailing, a combination of physical shops and an internet presence, with strong links between the two, according to Verdict Research. Retailers that have a high street presence tend to be well known and trusted which helps persuade customers to use online brands. This gives them an advantage over many pure play internet retailers.
Verdict Research consulting director Neil Saunders said: "Having an internet presence is now more important than ever, any retailer who doesn’t have one is essentially shutting the door on a very lucrative stream of growth. And in this current environment, there are very few retailers who can afford to do that."