Brits spend £540 million online in February

Online shopping is taking off in the UK.

The online sales market is on the rise – is your business ready to follow customers on to the web?

With the rise of the mobile market, an increasing number of Brits are turning their attention away from the high street and are instead doing business with internet-based retailers.

This widely-held perception is backed up by a recent report from the ONS (Office for National Statistics), which show that the online retail sector is expanding at an impressive rate.

The average weekly spend online in February 2013 was estimated at £540.5 million, according to the ONS, which observed that this is an increase of 10.1 per cent compared with February 2012.

Indeed, the amount spent online accounted for 9.7 per cent of all retail spending, excluding automotive fuel.

Reflecting on the specific breakdown of online expenditure, the ONS explained that more was spent online in the non-store retailing sector than any other sector, “Spending online now accounts for 64.6 per cent of total spending in this sector.”

They added, “In the food sector 3.6 per cent of spending was made online up from 3.3 per cent in February 2012. This sector has the lowest proportion of online spend in relation to all spending.”

Meanwhile, another study has suggested that the online retail industry remains a long way from maximising its potential.

Conducted by industry analyst Redshift Research, the study found that 43 per cent of consumers failed to complete an online acquisition, despite having items contained within their online shopping basket.

A lack of customer interaction was cited by 44 per cent of respondents as the reason for this, while 34 per cent acknowledged that a lack of support prevented them from shopping online altogether.

This research suggests businesses need to focus more attention on providing good customer service online.