Online shopping is continuing to prove more resilient than the high street through the recession and is expected to grow this year by 13.3 per cent to £20.9bn, despite signs the growth of the channel is slowing.

Although many shoppers are turning to the internet for bargains during the recession, the  growth rate of online sales is slowing according to a Verdict Research report into online shopping, UK e-Retail 2009.

With a growth of just 13.3 per cent predicted this year, compared to 25 per cent last year and 35 per cent in the height of growth in 2007, there are signs that the online market is maturing.

Verdict Research senior retail analyst Malcolm Pinkerton said:  “With the expansion in market capacity slowing, retailers are inevitably going to find themselves having to compete much harder against their rivals in order to achieve the same levels of growth that they have previously become accustomed to.”

The report points out that total retail growth will contract by 0.6 per cent in 2009 as consumer spending continues to be hit by the difficult economic climate.

Verdict still predicts that online retail sales will hit £31.2bn by 2013, accounting for 10 per cent of total retail sales.