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Online retail sales are predicted to reach £52.25bn in the UK this year, a 16.2% increase on 2014 when the total stood at £44.97bn.

This equates to 15.2% of all retail sales in the UK and means that on average UK consumers will spend £1,174 online in 2015, which would make us the most frequent online shoppers in Europe.

In comparison, the average German is predicted to spend £1,023 while in France the figure is £847.

The figures come from a study conducted by RetailMeNot and the Centre for Retail Research.

The data shows that ecommerce is driving the growth in consumer spending across Europe.

In-store sales are predicted to drop by 1.4% in 2015, but an 18.4% increase in online sales means that total retail revenues will increase by an average of 2%.

Germany is set to see the fastest increase in sales in Europe, with online spending forecast to reach £44.61bn this year.

Meanwhile Sweden has the slowest growing ecommerce market in Europe, but that is due to the fact that it is the most mature with 69.8% of Swedes shopping online compared to 65.5% in the UK and a European average of 46.7%.

Christmas sales

The trend for increasing online sales and declining offline sales was also reflected in Christmas trading results from the UK’s major retailers.

Though Tesco reported a 0.3% drop in like-for-like sales, online grocery sales increased by 12.9% in the six weeks to January 3.

Similarly, online clothing sales grew by 52.4% and sales of general merchandise were up 22.2%.

Elsewhere:

  • At House of Fraser online sales rose by 31.2% over the six weeks to January 3.
  • Debenhams saw a 28.9% increase in Christmas sales.
  • Despite a fall in sales at its department stores over Christmas, John Lewis reported a 5.8% growth in revenue in the five weeks to December 27 thanks to a 19% increase in online sales.

For more ecommerce data, download the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium.

The study from RetailMeNot is based on data from government statistical sources and analysts, telephone interviews with 100 major retailers from all types of business (20%+ of national retail sales), and interviews with 1,000 consumers in each of the nine countries (9,000 in total).

Of course, the usual caveats about predictions apply, though this is an educated short-term estimate, rather than some of the guesswork that is involved in longer term forecasts. 

The study examines the sale of merchandise to the final consumer through stores and online on a like-with-like basis, excluding food services, the sale of automobiles, gas and fuel, tickets, holidays, insurance, and banking.

David Moth

Published 26 January, 2015 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1697 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

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Joe Tarragano

Joe Tarragano, Group Managing Director at Pentagon

So if you assume there's a 20% volume increase, what does that mean for
1) Carriers and websites who already struggle with the extreme spikes that online generates, and
2) Store click & collect, which is headed north of 40% as a share of online sales, and will start to really impact store efficiency, profitability & customer experience at such levels.

While technology is wonderfully scalable, online is increasingly starting to cause real challenges for retailers' core business in the areas where people & process are involved. Many aren't yet doing full end-to-end journey mapping or P&L analysis, so may not be realising the extent to which the overall journey is starting to creak, and be costly.

about 2 years ago

Kunle Campbell

Kunle Campbell, eCommerce Marketing Consultant at 2X Consulting

The Centre for Retail Research and RetailMeNot's £44.97bn estimate for UK eCommerce sales in 2014 is far off from the IMRG/ Capgemini's e-Retail Sales Index's £104bn estimate.
Why is there such a wide discrepancy?

about 2 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

Hi Kunle, you're right, the discrepancy is quite strange. I think it's to do with how the figures are worked out. For example, RetailMeNot's data excludes food, automobiles and various other items.

about 2 years ago

Kunle Campbell

Kunle Campbell, eCommerce Marketing Consultant at 2X Consulting

Hi David, I double-checked with IMRG - their £104bn includes online travel.
Thanks for clarifying on food and automobiles.

almost 2 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

Thanks Kunle.

almost 2 years ago

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Vincent Morris, Student at Nottingham Trent University

I am currently doing a dissertation on the effect internet retailing is having on physical stores. How the ease of accessibility has changed consumer behaviour and related trends. It also includes how retailers are adapting corporate strategies to cater for this and how e-commerce is effecting product pricing. What are your thoughts on this?

almost 2 years ago

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Rudi Dalchow, E-commerce operative at Character Linens

It would be interesting if the numbers would show cross border sales. As we have, even with the 'challenging' exchange rate still a lot of orders from the continent. The influence on exchange rate and political decisions in future is, now more then ever, important in my opinion.

over 1 year ago

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