The internet has changed the way people shop and online trade has become a hugely important part of the retail industry.
A prime example of this trend is fashioner retailer Gap, which has reported impressive e-commerce figures in its latest financial results.
The company saw its total online sales increase by 27 per cent from $367 million (£236 million) in the second quarter of 2012 to $466 million in the same period this year.
Gap said this strong online performance was partly driven by its "industry-leading omni-channel platform for consumers, inclusive of ship-from-store, find-in-store and reserve-in-store capabilities".
The fashion retailer's e-commerce sales have contributed to it making a total net income of $303 million, which is up from $243 million in the same period last year.
Gap's success is proof of how important online retail has become to businesses and also indicates that more and more people are choosing to shop online.
Making purchases over the internet allows consumers to save time and is often cheaper than buying things in-store. However, a fast and reliable broadband connection is required to make the most of e-commerce and this is something many people across the UK are lacking.
However, a solution is readily available, as Tooway satellite broadband from Avonline can provided the fast and reliable service needed to shop online and guarantees a high level of performance anywhere in the UK, including remote areas. This means people in rural locations need not get left behind and can have the same opportunities as city residents.
Online retail is increasingly popular with Britons and recent data from the IMRG Hitwise Hot Shops List has revealed Amazon UK is the most visited shopping-based website in the country.
Other sites that attract a lot of consumers are Apple and Argos, which were ranked second and third respectively. Next, Marks and Spencer, ASOS, Tesco, Debenhams and John Lewis also appeared in the top ten, while Netflix was the fastest riser moving from 27th to 11th.
Posted by Mark Wynn