A study by e-commerce trade body IMRG has determined that online shopping among UK consumers grew by about 32% in 2005 as compared to the previous year. Online shoppers spent about £19.2 billion in 2005, while 2004’s sales amounted to £14.5 billion.
Online retailers estimate the number of online UK consumers at approximately 24 million, with each spending about £816.00 each during the whole year on average. Much of the spending growth was in the 10 weeks culminating in Christmas, in which consumers spent an average of £208.00 each.
According to IMRG, it forecasts 2006 online spending to grow by 36%, or with sales reaching £26 billion.
This boom in online shopping is received with mixed feelings. Retailers that have e-commerce sites such as Marks & Spencer and Tesco enjoyed the benefits, while those who remain brick-and-mortar like Next, Body Shop and HMV are not as fortunate. In particular, HMV and fellow music retailer MVC report to have been adversely affected by consumers’ preference in buying music through the Internet.