The online sale of non-food is taking an increasing proportion of the total market, the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor has identified.

Online sales last month represented 17.5% of total non-food sales, up from 16.6% in February 2014.

Online non-food product sales growth of 8.3% last month on February 2014 was almost half the growth figure of the same month in 2013, when growth was at 14.3%.

Online sales contributed one percentage point to the growth of non-food total sales in February. The three-month average contribution of online to non-food growth exceeded that of stores for the sixth consecutive month. Online accounted for almost two-thirds of non-food sales growth on a three-month basis, according to the monitor.

Toys and baby equipment was the second-fastest growing category online for the second consecutive month, followed by household appliances.

Health and beauty also experienced its best performance since February 2013.

Helen Dickinson, director general of the BRC, said: “On a three month basis the largest proportion of non-food sales growth came from online sales rather than bricks and mortar for the sixth consecutive month.

“February saw a lull after the Christmas rush and January sales but managed to maintain a healthy rate of growth on top of February 2014’s strong performance.”

Valentine’s seemed to have particularly boosted the health and beauty category with online sales of those products growing at their greatest rate since February 2013.

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said mobile devices had helped cement the shift to online and it was vital retailers recognised this and invest in systems which made it easier to shop using such devices.

“The high street still has a leading role to play in the success of retailers’ operations, but most will acknowledge that it is no longer the sole star of the show,” McCorquodale added.