The internet is worth 8.3% of the UK economy, research from the Boston Consulting Group has found.
Figures from the report find that the internet economy is worth £121bn to the UK - more than £2,000 per person.
The research found that the UK carries out far more retail online than any other major economy, with 13.5% of all purchases in 2010 taking place online, expected to rise to 23% in 2016.
Adam Stewart, marketing director at Rakuten-owned Play.com, said on the research: “It was not so long ago that the weekly shop was conducted at the local high street, but in recent years this has changed dramatically and today’s figures highlight the growth and importance of ‘non-store’ retailing to the UK’s economy. The UK has long been known as a nation of shopkeepers and serves as a perfect backdrop for the success of online retailing.
“In order to ensure continued growth in this vitally important sector it is essential that retailers large and small are empowered to make the very most of the online channel to build brand awareness as well as customer relationships. The human touch and levels of customer service associated with the traditional high street is still all important. This means a move away from the B2C and C2C models and employing a completely new business model: B2B2C (Business to Business to Consumer). This approach enables nothing less than a completely new e-commerce platform, the virtual shopping centre.
“While many view the connected customer as more valuable, the bricks and mortar experience is something many consumers still value. The key for retailers is to combine the flexibility and convenience that online, mobile and social channels deliver, with the customer service and tangibility of the physical shopping experience. By bringing together these elements, retailers will make their offerings and service more compelling to their customers. This in turn will lead to increased revenue and improved brand value for the businesses themselves, as well as for UK Plc.”