Online spending in the UK is expected to reach £1.75 billion during the Christmas season, reports research firm Interactive Media in Retail Group.

"The main driving factors are UK consumer acceptance of online shopping, a heavy push of online shopping by traditional retailers with television commercials, and the convenience factor," said IMRG CEO James Roper.

The study, which was produced in conjunction with Forrester Research, estimates that online shopping for the year will pull in £3.94 billion. October's online retail was worth almost £433 million, up more than 145 per cent on October 2000. This contrasts with a 0.1 per cent decline in annual high-street retail revenue in October, Roper said.

The indications are that the UK will comprise 10 per cent of worldwide online spending this season.

Crash course "Online shopping and consumer acceptance of it has come later here than in the US and that has actually worked in our favour. Because of the dot-com crash, the main players on the market now are the traditional players like John Lewis and Argos. They have put serious investment in place and learned a lot from the pain that came before them. Their sites are sophisticated and they promote online shopping as an accepted mainstream channel," Roper said.

"You also can't underestimate the convenience factor of online shopping. More people are working and working longer hours in the UK than ever before, not only giving them online access, but after a long day at work, who really wants to go shopping?" Roper said.