The rate of internet shopping in the UK has double-clicked to a new all-time high in the run up to Christmas.
Internet shopping has become ever more popular with consumers
According to a new report by IMRG, the industry body for global e-retailing, UK online shopping in November was 44% higher than 12 months ago.
It estimates that during the month, UK internet shoppers spent £1.175bn, some 7% of all retail sales.
In turn, the Royal Mail predicts that £3.34bn of Christmas presents will be ordered over the web this year.
The IMRG report puts the upsurge in internet shopping down to its sheer convenience, the fact you can make your purchases from home, at any time of the day or night.
Jo Tucker, IMRG managing director, added: "In a high street store, you never really know if the product or deal you are looking at is the best available.
"But on the internet it is easy to find and compare offers."
According to the report, all retail sectors, from food and drink to electrical goods, have seen an increase in internet trading.
MOST VISTED RETAIL WEBSITES
Ebay shops UK
Source: IMRG, November 2003
The top 10 most searched for products or brands were - iPod, Playstation 2, DVD player, digital camera, Freeview, Sony, Canon, Panasonic, DVD, and X-Box.
IMRG says that over the last four years the online shopping market has grown more than 14-fold.
One of the fastest-growing online retail sectors is electrical goods, which sold £204m of items in November, a 47% increase on 2002.
Amarijit Singh of Empiredirect, said: "New technology products are driving the online sales revolution, with demand for the latest digital products reaching unprecedented levels this Christmas."