Europeans will spend a total of €52bn (£44.98bn) online in the eight week run up to Christmas from October 30, predicts the the IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group).

Some 240 million Europeans will shop online in this period, with an average spend of €217 (£187) each. IMRG also said the UK will be responsible for 30 percent of this total, with 37 million Brits spending €15.6bn (£13.4bn) online. That's 14 percent up on last year's figures. The IMRG also said around £15bn of the total European spend would be made within the first two weeks of December (week commencing November 28 and week commencing December 5) which usually marks the peak for online purchasing in the festive season. The UK will be responsible for around £3.72bn of this.

Aad Weening, head of International at IMRG said: "Online shopping comes into its own at Christmas as the primary trade route for millions of consumers across Europe who have so much to buy and organise in short inclement days and, now, on extremely tight budgets".

James Roper, Chairman of IMRWorld and CEO of the UK e-commerce association, IMRG, added that a growing number of European and international customers are buying from UK sites, encouraged by the huge choice of goods available and beneficial currency exchange rates.

"We expect the internet to account for around 20 percent of all UK Christmas shopping this year, with 93 percent of UK online consumers planning to shop online this Christmas, and 58 percent expecting to do half or more online. UK online sales during the Christmas run-up are on average 38 percent per week higher than the rest of the year, making this a key time for both consumers and retailers alike."