UK online retail sales rocketed 54 per cent to £46.6 billion in 2007.

In the 12-week run-up to Christmas, online shoppers spent£15.2 billion, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

The largest growth in online shopping came from the electronics sector, up 60 per cent in December 2007. Clothing increased by 28 per cent on the previous year, with sales of beer, wine and spirits jumping 20 per cent.

Capgemini UK’s consumer products and retail team vice president Anthoula Madden said: “Online growth has proven robust and sustainable over the past year, increasing its share of UK retail from 10p in the pound to 15p.”

In December, e-tail sales rose 50 per cent, but tailed off in the last week of the year.

On Christmas Day, four million people shopped online, spending a total of£84 million. Retailers including Dixons, Comet and Marks and Spencer offered sales promotions on Christmas Day.

IMRG chief executive James Roper said: “Consumers are making the most of the 24/7 convenience and competitive pricing that online shopping has to offer. Why would you fight the shopping crowd to buy a TV on the high street when you can arrange for it to be delivered to your home at a more competitive price?”