Around 20 million Britons will shop online this year, according to the Interactive Media in Retail Group trade body.

As a result, IMRG estimates that online sales will total £17 billion ($31.4bn; €25.5bn) in 2004, and rise rapidly thereafter to £80bn by 2009.

The group also found that Britons are taking to ecommerce faster than the rest of Europe: some 27% have now bought online, compared with 16% of their continental cousins.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff