January 24, 2011, 3:28 PM

Online shoppers in the United Kingdom increase spending by 16% in 2010

A report forecasts U.K. online shoppers will spend $80 billion in 2011.

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Online shoppers in the United Kingdom spent 44 billion pounds (US$70.4 billion) in 2010, up 16% from the previous year, according to a report released today by comparison shopping site Kelkoo and consultancy The Center for Retail Research.

The report forecasts a 13.6% increase this year for U.K. online spending, to 50 billion pounds (US$80 billion). By contrast, the report says that all retail spending in the United Kingdom will grow only 1.4% in 2011.

The report adds that annual online spending in the U.K. accounts for nearly 11% of all British retail spending. That is the highest market share for online retailing among European countries, the two organizations say.

“The recession boosted the appeal of online retailing among U.K. consumers and it is estimated that consumers save 18 billion pounds annually by shopping online as a result of the lower retail prices available on the net,” says Richard Stables, the CEO of the price comparison site.

Consumers in the United Kingdom, Germany and France accounted for 71% of online spending in Europe in 2010, the report says. Annual online sales per capita are highest in the United Kingdom (730 pounds/US$1,170), Norway (721 pounds/US$1,150) and Denmark (692 pounds/US$1,100). Poland, Spain and Italy have the lowest per capita spending amounts, reflecting the relatively low profile of online retailing in those countries, the report says.

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