Nearly half of Brits (49 percent) regularly buy from online retailers, says 1&1 Internet.

Research by the internet hosting company revealed that 48 percent expect all businesses to have a website, while a third admitted they would have 'concerns' over buying from a firm that doesn't have a website.

However, nearly two third of Brits said online shopping had made them more demanding.

More than two in five (43 percent) want quicker turnaround times for deliveries, while 30 percent feel customer service needs to be improved.

"Consumers clearly appreciate the ability to buy goods easily online, and online businesses are now seen as a vital part of the UK economy," said Oliver Mauss, CEO of 1&1 Internet.

When it comes to running an online store, 58 percent of Brits said it was a common career.

Furthermore, 83 percent believe online stores have made it possible for consumers to succeed with business ventures.

1&1 Internet also revealed that, on average, UK businesses raise 11 to 20 percent of sales revenue solely through their websites, while despite the recession 46 percent of firms experienced an increase in online sales revenue over the past three years.

Furthermore, more than two thirds of UK businesses (67 percent) feel that email has allowed them more flexibility to shape their work, and 39 percent said their attitude towards customer care has improved as a result of selling online.

"Business owners have gained a broad range of benefits from adopting the web. As internet technologies grow apace, the future promises even greater potential for firms to grow revenues and optimise their customer experience," added Mauss.

See also: 1&1 launches Zoho-based Online Office