Brits to spend £52.25bn online this year, research claims

Online consumer retail sales are forecast to grow by 16.2 per cent in 2015 according to figures released today by digital consumer offers firm RetailMeNot.

The international study conducted by the Centre for Retail Research reveals that online retailers in the UK can expect total online sales to reach £52.25 billion compared to £44.97 billion in 2014.

This projected gain of 16.2 per cent mirrors the sustained growth expected in the sector globally with online sales across Europe tipped to grow by 18.4 per cent and the US and Canada predicted to rise by 13.8 per cent and 13.2 per cent respectively this year. The outlook going into 2016 looks equally positive with similar gains expected across the board.

European online shoppers are set to spend £820 online on average, vs £738 in 2014, an increase of 11.1 per cent. The UK, however, sits way out in front in the big spender’s league with online shoppers predicted to splash out £1,174 online in 2015, growing by 9.6 per cent compared to last year. British online shoppers are even ahead of the US where the average online shoppers are expected to spend £1,120 (+7.4 per cent YoY) slightly ahead of other above average spenders, Germany (£1,023) and France (£847).

Giulio Montemagno, senior vice president of international at RetailMeNot, said: “Investment by retailers in improving the online shopping experience and in more sophisticated consumer targeting is clearly paying dividends.

“In the UK, consumers are now shopping online more frequently and spending more overall, helping to increase online retailers’ market share.

“This is being bolstered by a growing number of online shoppers; 65.5 per cent of Brits now shop on the web.”

Strong growth online is compensating for falling sales in-store in all markets surveyed. Across Europe, store-based sales are set to fall by 1.4 per cent in 2015, however an 18.4 per cent increase in online sales means that total retail sales across the continent will grow by an average of 2 per cent this year.

“Although in-store sales appear to be falling, many retailers are bucking the trend by embracing technology to better engage consumers,” Montemagno said.

“In 2015, we expect to see even more retailers take advantage of mobile and further testing of beacon technology to target consumers while they are on the go, as well as in-store, by making the shopping experience more relevant."

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