The biggest retailers on the web are expected to take a quarter of all Christmas spending this year.
Figures from retail research firm Kantar Worldpnael show that 25% of Christmas presents in 2010 will be purchased from outlets such as Amazon, eBay and Play.com.
Interestingly, it is older generations who will contribute significantly to this, with consumers aged over 55 expected to account for one third of all online purchases.
Traditionally, the online retail market has been the domain of the younger generation, but this year we will see older generations increasingly using this channel,” said Kantar consumer insight director Alex Seron.
This is largely due to both the convenience element of the internet, and the percepion that it is cheaper than High Street stores. With people looking to spend less this Christmas, the internet offers a Santa's grotto of Christmas bargains.”
Kantar's research also shows a general decline in the number of gifts purchased, with the average number of presents bought per household down to 8.1 – a full present than last year's figure of 9.3.