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Online retail sales hit £5bn in the month of July thanks mainly to rubbish UK weather pushing people onto the internet to book last-minute holidays.

The travel sector was up 18 per cent on July last year - the same as the index as a whole.

Booze sales were down nine per cent compared to June, when they were heavily boosted by the World Cup, but were up 22 per cent compared to last year.

The figures, from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, show Brits spent an average of £81 online each, or £5bn in total.

The first half of the year has shown solid growth after a miserable couple of years.

There was a marked difference between multi-channel retailers - those with websites, High Street shops and maybe other channels too - and those "pure-play" etail-only businesses.

Multi-channel firms grew sales by 18 per cent compared to June while online-only grew eight per cent month-on-month. Multi-channel brands also do a slightly better job of converting browsers into buyers - 4.49 per cent of browsers buy compared to 4.39 per cent conversion rates for straight etailers.

More from IMRG here. ®

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