Online retail to make gains despite recession

Despite the recession, e-commerce in the UK is expected to grow by a "healthy" six per cent annually, according to a new report from analyst Forrester Research.

The growth will last over the next six years, but lags behind Germany's seven per cent and France's 110 per cent growth, the report said.

Forrester's survey of 4,100 consumers showed 28 million people in the UK use the web to shop online, predicting that to increase to 37 million by 2014.

Those online shoppers will spend 56 billion on the web, as Britons spend an average 1,312 (1,341) annually topping the Germans at 869 and the French at 781.

"For the past decade, online shopping in the UK has been driven by a virtuous cycle," said Forrester's retail analyst Victoria Bracewell Lewis in a statement.

"Growing numbers of UK online shoppers and growing online spend per shopper encourage retailers and travel operators to improve their online offerings, which in turn draw more shoppers and higher spending," she added.