Not content with shopping till they drop in the UK's high streets and malls, British consumers are also flocking to their computers for retail therapy.

A survey commissioned by a UK online insurer claims 94% of people with access to the web have bought goods online, while half of those interviewed think 40% of all their shopping will be done via computer in five years' time.

Etailers will be delighted to hear these assertions in the run-up to Christmas when online sales will average £400 ($739, €571) compared with an average of £100 per month outside the holiday period.

Boston-based Forrester Research predicts European online spending this Christmas will be ahead of the US for the first time.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff