Brits spent £250 billion online in last 10 years

People in the UK spent a whopping £250 billion online within the last 10 years, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

With a population of around 60 million that would mean every single UK citizen would have had to spend over £4,000 online over the last decade. Considering the broadband structure in the UK is so paltry we can be fairly certain that not everyone has managed to get online, never mind set up an eBay account.

In fact, less than ten percent of Britons were shopping online in 2001, numbering only six million. They spent £1.8 billion then. The IMRG report showed a substantial growth in online sales since then, with 2010’s sales expected to hit the £56 billion mark. That’s an increase of over 3,100 percent over a 10 year period, averaging at around a 300 percent increase per year.

The recession had an impact on the UK’s online sales, reducing the growth from 35 percent in 2006 to 14 percent in dismal 2009. That is still a pretty healthy number, however, and is likely to increase as the economic situation turns around.

The World Cup meant alcohol sales did well, with the English boozing up via web-stores as they cheered their team on. We can only imagine how well the breweries would have done had the Irish team made it through.

Clothing and home items were also high on UK online shopping lists. With clothing often cheaper online than in local retailers that’s no surprise, but the huge sales for home and garden items are likely to fall now that a chunk of the population have lost their homes as the property bubble burst.

IMRG expects a 110 percent increase in the UK online market over the next ten years, bringing in £123 billion by 2020. Growth is expected to slump to six percent then as the market matures and levels off.

Mobile sales are to become the next big thing that will win over hard-earned British Pounds, according to IMRG. With the rise in popularity of smartphones and tablets this is not surprising.

“Britons are passionate about shopping online. The combination of ease, convenience and 24/7 access is incredibly compelling,” said James Roper, CEO of IRMG.