Shoppers continued splashing the cash online in March, deciding not to wait for the imminent reopening of stores, with sales increasing by 0.6% according to official figures.

It meant the value of online sales were up 62% on March 2020 - the first ever lockdown month - and was the largest monthly online sales growth since June last year, according to the office for national statistics (ONS).

It added that feedback from retailers suggested “that the upcoming easing of coronavirus restrictions had prompted consumers to update their wardrobes in preparation for being able to meet friends and family outdoors again.”

The results add weight to the argument that only those retailers that embrace their websites as their most important shop window will survive in the long-term, according to ParcelHero.

“High street retailers are really waiting for the ONS retail figures for April, when they are released next month,” said David Jinks, ParcelHero head of consumer research.

“Footfall soared over 80% during the first week that non-essential stores reopened, but the early signs are that in-store shopping was still down by 25% on 2019’s pre-Covid levels.

“April’s ONS figures will help give a fuller picture,” he added.