Online shopping continued to defy the credit crunch in December, as UK shoppers spent over £4.6bn, an increase of over 14 per cent year on year, according to new figures released today by industry body the IMRG and consultancy Capgemini.
The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index shows that UK shoppers spent over £4.67bn online in December - an equivalent of £76.67 for every person in the UK - which is 14.2 per cent up on December 2007.
A third of shoppers did more than half of their shopping online during December, with nearly two-thirds spending more online this Christmas than last year.
The biggest winning sectors were 'beers, wines and spirits', reporting an increase in sales of 13 per cent compared to November, while 'gifts' registered a seven per cent rise. The 'lingerie' and 'health and beauty' sectors came off worst with a drop in sales of 13 per cent from the month before.
Mike Petevinos, head of consulting for retail at Capgemini UK, argued that the recession is having a major impact on the nation's shopping habits.
"Our research provides further evidence that consumers are turning to the internet as the most efficient way to save money in the downturn," he said.
"It is also clear that retailers are seizing the potential of the internet to reach shoppers with targeted discounts and promotions."
James Roper, founder of the IMRG, explained that traders that succeed are likely to have well-integrated, multi-channel strategies.
"Brands that are nimble in a cross-channel environment give their customers a more efficient, easy-to-use service and are rewarded with increased conversion rates and larger average shopping baskets," he said.
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