Online spending in May rose to more than £4.5 billion, an increase of 1.6 per cent on April, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

The figure represents the equivalent of each person in the UK spending£73 in May, a year-on-year increase of 30 per cent.

The clothing, footwear and accessories sectors all experienced growth during the month, up a combined 4 per cent on the back of summer clothing Sales. Shoe sales rose by 17 per cent ahead of the Sex and the City premiere.

Electricals sales fell 10 per cent and alcohol sales slumped 11 per cent, which was attributed to the lack of any of the four big clubs in the FA Cup final and England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008. Health and beauty sales remained flat.

Anthoula Madden, vice-president of Capgemini UK’s Consumer Products and Retail team, said: “Although online sales across the board are more robust than on the high street, falling property prices and persistent news of a credit crunch are causing UK shoppers to become more careful with their disposable income.”

Madden added that the pressures on retailers is “a reminder that e-tailers must become ever more innovative in attracting new customers by providing a truly integrated multichannel offering to maintain existing customers”.