Shoppers spent £5.46bn online in December and increase of 17% on last year, according the IMRG Capgemini’s latest e-retail sales index.

The peak week for online sales came in the second week of December, a week later than last week, with a combination of the postal strikes, shoppers holding out for bargains and increased confidence in delivery pushing back when customers chose to do their Christmas shopping.

Year-on-year growth online in 2009 was 14% and this is expected to drop to a 13% growth for 2010.

Capgemini principle retail consultant Jon Parry said: “Once again, consumers have turned to the internet to do their Christmas shopping, with 17% growth year on year this December.

An interesting shift during this festive period is the strength of the month on month performance for multi-channel retailers (up 13%) versus their pure-play competitors (down 8%).

This shows both the high value consumers place on a multi channel proposition, particularly when it comes to gift returns, and the trust advantage our high street brands have if they can get their online proposition right.”