Online retail spending hit £133bn in 2016, up 16 per cent on 2015, with sales on smartphones up notable. However, the impending Brexit process poses some cause for concern.
The data comes from the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index that is formed of information supplied by over 100 eretailers, both pure-play, online only retailers, and multi-channel firms.
Overall the increase market an £18bn improvement on 2015, ahead of the 11 per cent growth predicted by the IMRG earlier in the year.
One of the most notable areas of growth in online retail came from smartphones, with December in particularly showing how much this has increased, with sales up 47 per cent year-on-year. However, tablet sales have fallen three per cent, underlining the slow demise of the tablet as the mobile computing device of choice.
Overall, sales from smartphones accounted for 54 per cent of all mobile sales in December, compared to just 39 per cent in December 2015.
While the increase of smartphone sales has been one cause for the growth in overall online sales Justin Opie, managing director, at IMRG said the growth of Black Friday also played a part.
"Black Friday became an "online" event in 2015, and this seems to have had a lasting effect on people"s shopping behaviour and preferences - our Index has recorded strong growth for online sales ever since that day."
IMRG and Capgemini remain upbeat that growth in online retail sales will remain, with a prediction that sales will increase in 2017 by 14 per cent.
However, at an event to discuss the data, some retailers said they are worried Brexit could hit customer spending.
"There is a real concern about how it will effect disposable income in the customers pocket, because if it does at some point we feel that effect and that"s a concern," said Sean McKee, director of Ecommerce & Customer Services at shoe firm Schuh.
"It probably makes international expansion less attractive too, because you can"t plan when there is no stability. I think the domestic concerns are more pressing, though, because that could have more of a direct effect."
Meanwhile Michael Durbridge, director of Omni-Channel, B&Q, also raised potential concerns, noting that the price of sourcing and importing items could go up, especially if currency exchanges are weakened, which could push costs up.
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