As the rest of the economy suffers, e-commerce is set to grow at 6% a year over the next five years, with UK retailers...
leading the way.
Analyst firm Forrester predicts annual growth of 6% until 2014, when web sales will total £56bn a year.
Research showed that 37 million UK customers will shop on the internet in five years' time, up from the current 28 million.
Forrester said UK retailers are the "most sophisticated in Europe" when it comes to taking advantage of the trend. Companies such as Argos, Next and Tesco are improving their infrastructure as they realise the importance of e-commerce.
The report said, "Leading UK retailers such as Argos, Next and Tesco have begun integrating their channels in search of seamless cross-channel customer experiences to help drive substantial sales growth."
Such improvements have led to a "virtuous circle", Forrester said, as consumers are attracted to better websites, which in turn boosts investment further.
The study was part of a series of forecasts on the future of online retail in the UK, France and Germany.