Online sales of non-food products in the UK has increased by 19.2% in January 2014, compared to 13.5% growth reported in January 2013, according to British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG online retail sales monitor.

For the period, online sales accounted for 17.4% of total non-food sales, as against 16.3% in January 2013.

The increase in January online sales was highest since January 2009.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said embracing omnichannel sales has been a big driver of business for UK retailers.

"There’s no doubt that online is driving structural change within the sector and retailers will continue to invest heavily to provide the seamless experience between channels that today’s shoppers demand," Dickinson added.

"Our figures showed that 17.4 per cent of all non-food spending is online and we’re expecting this number to continue to rise as operations become more efficient, collections more convenient, deliveries faster and technology more integrated."

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KPMG retail head David McCorquodale said with growth at 19% and penetration from online sales running at 17%, this channel is much more than the new frontier for retailers and really is the growth engine for the sector.

"Many retailers are investing heavily in analytics and supply chain fulfilment to drive personalisation of offer to the consumer and differentiate themselves from competitors through delivery performance. As online growth drives about a third of non-food sales expansion, retailers are doing all they can to fully embrace the growth prospects offered," McCorquodale added.