Online sales increased last month by 23% compared with October 2009, showing Christmas shopping is now in full swing.
The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index revealed that shoppers in the UK spent a total of £5.2bn online last month, a year-on-year growth of 23% and the highest October growth since pre-recession levels.
The gifts sector grew by a massive 76% in October compared to the previous month, indicative of the start of the festive buying surge, while the home and garden sector grew 22% on September 2010 as people rushed to finish off home improvements before Christmas.
Capgemini's head of retail consulting and technology Chris Webster said: "The market continues to grow ahead of our expectations and this is a crucial time for e-retailers to beat the competition by using innovative strategies and tactical promotions in the run-up to Christmas. The web is consistently seen as the place to go for bargains and retailers with an online presence should use this to their advantage."
Sales for multichannel retailers continued to grow at a faster pace than online-only retailers, with growth of 28% and 16% respectively. An estimated £3.1bn was spent online through multichannel retailers in October, while £2.1bn was spent at online-only retailers.