NOTTINGHAM: Online retailing in major European markets is expected to grow 18% during 2014, driven largely by existing online consumers shopping more often and spending more, according to a new report.

The Centre for Retail Research, in conjunction with RetailMeNot, surveyed 1,000 online shoppers in each of eight European markets – the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland and Spain – as well as the US; 100 online traders in each country were also polled.

The value of online retail sales in Europe was predicted to reach £131.2bn in 2014, with the UK, Germany and France accounting for the greater part (81%).

While consumers in the UK were expected to spend most online – almost £45bn compared to £35.4bn in Germany and £26.4bn in France – Germany was growing fastest, at 22% in 2014, well ahead of France (16.5%) and the UK (15.8%). Only Poland (22.6%) was forecast to grow more quickly, from a low base of £2.9bn in 2013.

"While the e-commerce sector is continuing to grow rapidly, we are starting to see the German, the UK and the US markets mature as shopping online becomes a commonplace activity," Giulio Montemagno, SVP of international at digital coupon marketplace RetailMeNot, told The Drum.

"Today, growth is being mainly driven by an increase in the frequency of consumers shopping online and spending more money through online channels while in previous years ecommerce growth came primarily from an ever-growing number of first time online shoppers," he added.

The survey found that most consumers expected to shop online at least once a month in 2014, with the average European user spending £59 a time, and making an average of 18 purchases a year.

"In 2014, we are expecting to see online sales across Europe grow at a rate that is 11.9 times faster than in-store sales," said Montemagno.

Successful retailers do not view the internet as a threat, he argued, but rather as "a powerful complement which can help them increase their sales", utilising mobile devices and the web to incentivise shoppers to make purchases both online and in-store.

Data sourced from Centre for Retail Research, The Drum; additional content by Warc staff