Online retailers are holding their own despite worsening conditions in the high street, with UK shoppers spending 38% more over the internet in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2007.
The online spend was over £26.5bn compared to £19.2bn in the first half of 2007.
New figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index show that for the first six months of 2008 17p in every pound was spent online – roughly equivalent to half of all supermarket spending.
The report also predicts that online growth will remain strong for the rest of the year, driven in part by rising fuel costs.
Online spending followed the usual seasonal pattern, with growth falling sharply in January, picking up in the spring and falling again towards summer. And the -5% dip in growth for June is significantly more pronounced than last June, mirroring the overall June picture for retail sales.
IMRG Capgemini says the figure shows that while online spending is growing rapidly compared to the high street it is nevertheless not immune to the effects of the credit crunch.
IMRG Capgemini predicts that between 30 and 50% of all retail spending will be online within the next five years.