UK punters lead Europe in online shopping

British Internet shoppers spent £38 billion shopping online last year making Web retailing one of the fastest-growing markets in the UK.

Online sales grew by 12.4 per cent year on year and Web purchases now account for nearly ten per cent of all retail sales - more than seven times the predicted growth.

And trusting Brits are so keen to spend their cash online that we account for a full 30 per cent of all on-line sales within Europe.

The research, which was carried out by the Centre for Retail Research and commissioned by shopping comparison site Kelkoo predicted that sales would continue to grow by as much as 20 per cent over the next year, making online retail worth £153 billion.

UK sales are expected to flatten out somewhat, with countries like Poland, France and Spain catching up as their Internet infrastructure, and trust in the security of online marketplaces, matures.

The UK currently leads the shopping league tables with £38 billion in sales. Germany (£29.7 billion) and France (£22 billion) are in second and third places. Poland seems to be struggling to get into the 21st century with a very poor showing of just £2.2 billion.

The average Euro shopper spent £774 on 20 online items costing £39 each in 2009.