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Online spending continues to rise

A new report has confirmed that the online retail industry in the UK continues to go from strength to strength, with figures showing that January was especially fruitful.

The study, conducted by IMRG Capgemini, revealed that online sales increased 18 per cent in the month to £8.1 billion during January 2014.

What’s more, it’s been confirmed that the average basket values increased to £78 during the month.

Reflecting on the performance during the month, Tina Spooner, the chief information officer of IMRG, said that while growth in the online clothing sector slowed to a mere nine per cent year-on-year, the average spend for this sector rose six per cent on the same month last year.

She suggested that this figure is a reflection of retailers discounting less, following a strong performance over the Christmas period.

“The number of browsers converting to buyers reached the highest levels recorded in the month of January since 2009 and this, together with the 18 per cent annual growth in e-retail sales, appears to be evidence that we are seeing an overall increase in consumer confidence,” Ms Spooner remarked.

“As we would expect, sales of travel peaked during January, however, the surge of 233 per cent from December is the highest month-on-month performance ever recorded for this sector.”

More specifically, the report shows that British shoppers spent about £78 online on average, exclusive of travel.

The umbrella figure has risen from £76 in December and £74 the year before, showing that online shopping is a growing force in the UK.

Chris Webster, the vice-president of Capgemini Retail Consulting and Technology, added: “As we settle into a new year, with the shopping bonanza that was Christmas behind us, it is very reassuring to see such impressive results and is a clear indication that consumer confidence is being sustained.”

He added that the industry can expect to enjoy a healthy year in 2014.