Sales of online retail in UK reached £4.3bn in 2010, an increase of 152% in the last five years, a recent study has found.

Research from Mintel estimates that the online retail market will continue to grow by as much as a further 45% by 2015, reaching  £6.9bn, with online trading in fashion items expected to reach in excess of  £4.8bn in 2011.

Capgemini and IMRG’s results for March 2011 showed fashion to be the stronget e-tail sector, while Mintel’s research suggests that online fashion out-performed every other sector throughout the whole of 2010.

Fashion retailers including H&M, Gap and Zara all opened transactional websites in 2010, a sure sign that the market is becoming more and more important to the wider retail sector.

Mintel found that more than half of those surveyed (58%) were nervous of buying from websites they were unfamiliar with. Social Media was also considered to be of growing importance to the sector, with three in 10 likely to leave reviews on websites and more than half (57%) admitting to using customer feedback via reviews before make any purchasing decisions.

Tamara Sender, Senior Fashion Analyst, Mintel, said “While the recession and stabilisation of the rise in internet penetration has impacted the online fashion market, sales of online fashion continue to grow.

“The market received a boost as several high street fashion retailers enveloped their online channels at the end of 2010, with leading high street retailers launching websites and other online retailers entering the fashion market.”

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com