Britain’s etail sector is growing even faster that forecast.

Latest figures from Forrester Research predict internet purchases will total £10.4 billion ($16.8bn; €14.6bn) over the course of 2003, up 46% on 2002’s £7.1bn and higher than the group’s January forecast of £10.1bn.

This year’s biggest sellers are old favourites such as books, air tickets and music. However, clothing, electronics and furniture have seen the most rapid growth as web shoppers grow more accustomed to buying online.

Some 65% of British adults have now bought on the internet. Of the web-shy remainder, 55% are deterred from internet purchases by security concerns.

According to Forrester analyst Rebecca Jennings, online firms should cater both for newcomers to the web and experienced surfers.

“Net newbies [sic] and old hands differ in their attitudes, demographics and product interest,” she said. “To get the attention – and cash – of both groups, online retailers’ sites must offer a variety of product routes to the same target, with both simplicity and more sophisticated functionality.”

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