Retail websites based in Europe are benefiting from an increasing amount of online traffic, according to a new industry report.

Research by comScore reveals that 160.6 million people across the continent visited online retail outlets during October this year – a five per cent rise on the same month in 2006.

Traffic to retail sites increased by 11 per cent in both the UK and France during the last 12 months, surpassing the European average.

Year-on-year growth was noticeably lower in Germany as a result of trade union strikes and a fall in consumer confidence.

Bob Ivins, executive vice president of comScore, said: “The fact that the online retail market now covers 70 per cent of the European internet population and is still growing is impressive.

“The stronger than average growth rates in the UK and France portend a healthy Christmas shopping season there.”

A separate study by payments association Apacs found that shoppers are on track to spend more than £5 billion online this December.

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