The growth in online shopping is set to slow significantly over the next few years.

Retail analyst Verdict predicted growth of 12% between 2009 and 2014 as the market for online shoppers becomes saturated. Online sales grew by 45.5% between 1999 and 2004, and by 27.2% in the five years to 2009.

The Verdict forecast defies industry predictions of continued rapid growth in online retail.

In 1999, online retail in the UK was worth £1bn, with 1.8m consumers shopping online. A decade later, 28.5m shoppers generated sales worth £20bn. The highest spenders online are the 34-44 year olds, splashing out an average of £992 a year. Those aged 25 to 34 spend £806 each.

“With the number of people shopping online becoming highly saturated, retailers will have to change and evolve their online strategies,” said Verdict analyst Malcolm Pinkerton.

“Driving loyalty and increasing spend per head across all age groups will become vital factors to ensure growth.”

Morrisons recently unveiled plans for its own long-awaited online debut, while earlier this year online giant Amazon announced a move into groceries.

Read more
Morrisons in new online and c-store experiment (10 September 2010)
Amazon’s slow start gets suppliers down (6 August 2010)
Amazon goes live with online grocery business (7 July 2010)