Online spending in the UK is set to more than double, to £21.3 billion, by the end of 2011 as Brits turn to the Internet for deals during the recession, according to a report commissioned by PayPal.
The report, compiled by Experian, says online shopping will be up 137% on the £8.9 billion it generated at the end of 2008. This means consumers in 2011 will spend the equivalent of approximately £430 for every UK adult online.
With the UK expected to still be in recession, the report says that in the 18 months up to the end of 2010, online shopping is the only area of retailing likely to record sales growth.
Meanwhile, a poll of 1000 UK adults for the report suggests Brits are already turning to e-commerce as the recession provokes a "mood of considered consumption".
Around a quarter of those questioned believe online shopping will become the norm and the high street will eventually die out.
Nearly 40% of e-shoppers now believe that it is easier for them to budget by purchasing items over the Internet rather than the high street, while 47% believe their money goes further online.
Around seven in ten consumers say they gather as much information as possible before committing to a purchase, and 62% of Web shoppers believe that the best deals are only available online.
When it comes to banking, 7.1 million online shoppers have done all or most of their financial services shopping on the Internet over the last six months. UK adults shopping in this online category have spent an average of £764 each.
The trend has a silver lining for PayPal, which currently claims a 21% share of consumer Internet payments. Almost one in every ten pounds spent online globally is currently sent using the P2P service says the company.