Research by online shopping comparison service uSwitch has predicted that online retail will almost quadruple by 2020.

The web currently accounts for around 10% of total UK retail sales, with sales over the Christmas period reaching £3.7bn, a 50% increase on 2005. The report predicts that 15% of UK retail sales this year will be online.

Other key figures include:

  • Online sales will reach £40bn this year – 15% of UK retail sales.
  • Online sales will quadruple to £162bn by 2020.
  • 8m UK households spend on average two hours a day shopping online.
  • The average household spends £980 a year online, representing 10% of their annual shopping bill.
  • According to the survey, the most popular products bought online are holidays, music and films.
  • Average online savings are 13% on grocery items, 21% on services and 15% on travel and leisure activities.

According to uSwitch, the massive savings to be had from shopping online and  the increased availability of fast broadband connections are the key factors behind the online boom.

The report says that UK consumers could save as much as £13bn annually by shopping online – a saving of £500 per household.

For more statistics on online retail, see the February 2007 update of our Internet Statistics Compendium.