GOTHENBURG: Online retail sales are expected to post a double-digit increase in Europe this year, presenting particular opportunities for travel, apparel and household goods brands, a report has argued.

DIBS, the payments provider, partnered with YouGov, the survey firm, to poll 9,000 people in nine regional markets.

As a result, it estimated that ecommerce revenues would reach €213bn in 2011, a 14% improvement year on year.

More specifically, Germany will be the biggest market, worth approximately €61.6bn, just ahead of the UK, in second place on €61.1bn. France should deliver €36.6bn, followed by Spain on €18.5bn.

Overall, the typical participant had made 7.4 purchases through the internet during the opening six months of 2011, compared with 6.6 transactions in the same period in 2010.

However, the DIBS study argued that the web still only accounts for a "fraction" of total expenditure, given the average shopper makes just over one purchase a month via this route.

According to the company, the travel category currently takes around 25% of the online retail market, beating household consumables on 13% and electronics on 12%.

Looking forward, apparel brands are likely to join these sectors in seeing an uptick in demand from internet users, DIBS reported.

The primary reasons that people choose to buy goods online is because it is easy and saves them time, mentioned by 69% of survey respondents.

Price also retains an important role, and was cited by 61% of interviewees. The fact that products could be bought at any time constituted an additional significant factor here.

Turning to mobile, 17% of shoppers in the 15-34 year old age range have made purchases utilising this channel.

By country, uptake has been highest in Sweden, Denmark and Poland. Media content, such as music and ringtones, remains the leading mcommerce category, the study stated.

Data sourced from DIBS; additional content by Warc staff