UK Internet sales hit a record high in 2007, with £46.6 billion spent online during the year, a 54% increase on the £30.2 billion recorded in 2006, according to figures released by Capgemini and the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG).
The stats show that for every pound spent on retail goods in 2007, 15 pence was spent online. This is up from 10 pence for every pound in 2006.
Commenting on the findings, Anthoula Madden, VP at Capgemini UK's consumer products and retail team, says: "Whilst we are yet to see high streets sales decline there can be no doubt online is growing its share at the expense of bricks and mortar retailers and we believe that this trend will continue."
Online shopping reached an all time high in the run up to Christmas, with £15.2 billion spent online in October to December, says the report.
December's e-commerce sales were nearly 50% higher than last year, but the figures show that demand for online shopping tailed off significantly towards the end of 2007. This is attributed to the impact of the global credit crunch on the UK economy.
However the final week of the year only saw a four per cent reduction in online sales - compared to a 22% reduction in the previous year - suggesting that shoppers hit the online sales to spend Christmas money and vouchers rather than the high street.
"Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically over the last few years and really is the driving force behind many of the changes in the e-retail landscape," says James Roper CEO of IMRG. "If retailers intend to be part of the future retail scene, they need to develop a robust online presence."