October saw a strong surge in online shopping in the UK, boosting hopes that the Christmas period will be another bumper time for e-commerce, according to the latest figures from IMRG and Capgemini.
The study found that each UK citizen spent an average of £85 online during the month, a year-on-year increase of 23 per cent. Total online sales for the year have grown by 17 per cent against 2009 to some £46bn.
Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, suggested that that e-retailers should employ a range of sales tactics to win as much of the available business as they can.
"The market continues to grow ahead of our expectations, and this is a crucial time for e-retailers to beat the competition by using innovative strategies and tactical promotions in the run up to Christmas," he said.
"The web is consistently seen as the place to go for bargains, and retailers with an online presence should use this to their advantage."
The 'clothing' sector saw the biggest annual increase in sales, rising by 33 per cent, while the 'gifts' sector increased by 75 per cent between September and October, which the researchers said is indicative of the start of the holiday sales.
"October was another strong month for online retailers, with Britons spending £1bn more online than the same month last year," said Tina Spooner, director of information at IMRG.
"Sales of clothing were particularly strong, consistently outperforming the total e-retail market during 2010."
Companies that use a multi-channel approach are increasing their sales much faster than pure e-commerce businesses, the study found.
An estimated £3.1bn was spent online through multi-channel retailers in October, compared to £2.1bn at online-only retailers.
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