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Online spending drives UK’s retail industry


Online sales rose by an average of 2.4 per cent over the past 10 months.



Website payments are playing an increasingly prominent role in the UK retail industry, according to a new report, which observed that online shoppers drove continued growth during October.



The report is based on research by MasterCard, which found that high-street consumers have made a conscious decision to rein in their spending ahead of Christmas, which is an expensive time of the year for everyone concerned.



MasterCard’s monthly report shows that UK retail sales grew 2.8 per cent year-on-year in October. The rate of growth is, however, down from September, and it is also the third month of slowed growth since July.



Of course, this situation was largely influenced by the warm summer weather and a number of national events that were staged in July.



Marion King, MasterCard UK and Ireland president, observed that consumer trends are strongly influenced by the time of the year and with Christmas on the horizon, consumers are starting to pay greater attention to their spending.



“With Christmas on the horizon, many consumers are saving money and consumer confidence isn’t high. With the festive shopping season starting in earnest next month, sales of big ticket items are set to increase and we’re hoping to see a brighter picture for the rest of the year,” Mr King told the Daily Telegraph.



Last month, a report from the Internet Advertising Bureau and PwC underlined the growing importance of online card payments to the UK retail industry.



UK-based web users spent an average of one in every 12 waking minutes online in the first six months of 2013, according to the study, which confirmed that online advertising spending has witnessed a substantial spike in recent years.



The figures show that internet, smartphone and tablet advertising rose by 17.5 per cent year-on-year,which was worth £3.04 billion in the first half of 2013.