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The UK and Germany accounted for almost two thirds of all visits to retail Web sites in Europe last month, according to Jupiter MMXI.

Nine million Net users in the UK visited a retail Web site in December, while in Germany, ten million Net people visited etailers in the run-up to Christmas.

Across Europe as a whole, the popularity of retail Web sites increased by more than 40 per cent compared to 2000.

In total, Jupiter estimates that £1.8 billion (E2.9 billion) was spent online in the run-up to Christmas.

This, according to the experts, shows that Europeans are really beginning to accept the Internet and e-shopping as a "normal" part of their lives.

However, etailers need to turn their punters into loyal customers if they want this momentum to continue.

In another report Forrester predicts that etail sales across Europe will top E33 billion (£20 billion) in 2002 rising to around E150 billion (£93 billion) in 2006. ®

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