UK consumers are predicted to spend £6.4bn online this Christmas, an increase of £1bn year on year as people flock to the internet to find the best deals, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
Total online expenditure in the fourth quarter is expected to top £17.4bn, up from £15bn in 2009, and total spend for 2010 is predicted to reach £57.8bn, up 16 per cent from last year.
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UK shoppers spent £4.8bn online in September, representing a year-on-year growth of 24 per cent, the report revealed.
Spending was the equivalent of £79 per person, and all retail sectors saw increases, with the exception of home and garden which fell by one per cent.
"Purse strings are getting tighter as concerns about the government's austerity drive begin to have an impact on consumer spending confidence," said Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini.
"The rise in online spending is at the expense of high street sales, and we may even see an early peak as shoppers look to spread the cost of Christmas over several pay cheques."
Sales of electronics goods were up 23 per cent year on year, and this may rise further with the release of new tablets and smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and HTC Desire HD in the coming weeks.
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