Another day, another piece of research focusing on the growth of online shopping.

Retail analysts Verdict Research say spending by online consumers rose by a third in 2006, and is set to triple over the next five years.

The group estimates that the etailing market for goods grew by 33.4% to £10.9bn last year, and will grow to £28.1bn, or about 8.9% of the UK's total retail sales, by 2011.

However, it said the bulk of the growth would probably be generated by existing online consumers, rather than by more people starting to shop on the web.

"Even with some retailers staying out of the market, online sales in the UK are set to triple in value," the report said.

"By 2011, the typical spend of an online shopper will grow to £1,056 per year with the clothing and footwear, DIY and gardening, and food and grocery sectors achieving the fastest growth.”

Verdict’s research focused purely on goods, hence its figures being lower than other online retail estimates for the UK.

The IMRG, for example, says just over £30bn was spent online by UK shoppers last year, and reckons the UK etailing market will reach £78bn by 2010.

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