Britain's online sales reached the highest growth in four years in December last year, boosted by retailers' promotion during the Christmas, said the British Retail Consortium (BRC) on Friday. The BRC figures showed that online sales of non-food products in Britain grew 19.2 percent in December of 2013 compared with the same period of the previous year, the highest growth in four years. The online penetration rate achieved 18.6 percent in December. "Multichannel is the other big story of the season," said Helen Dickinson, BRC Director General. "This Christmas we've seen innovative retailers using click and collect and other approaches to make a virtue of both their website and their physical shops. And that's something we see growing in importance." She said fast deliveries and social media have also helped consumers to plan ahead and cover off Christmas lists efficiently. In non-food, toys and electricals were key battlegrounds, with customers responding well to competitive offers on festive "must-haves". However, she admitted that with budgets still under pressure, many shoppers economised where they could to afford a little luxury here and there, and practical gifts such as bedroom furniture, children's clothing and kitchen appliances also proved popular. According to the BRC figures, retail sales growth slowed down in December despite the rising consumer confidence. Sales in December only grew 0.4 percent year on year compared to a 0.6 percent increase in November. Dickinson said: "This is a respectable result overall, in line with our prediction that Christmas trading in 2013 would reflect that while confidence levels were higher than the previous year, this wasn't always matched by more money in pockets." The BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor report said health and beauty and clothing categories had a strong finish to the year, while other non-food was the strongest contributor to sales growth in December and the fastest-growing category in 2013. David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, said: "December 2013 was all about nerve, margin and multi-channel. After competitive campaigns run by the major retailers, those retailers who held their nerve and provided a seamless service between channels will feel pleased, whilst those who discounted heavily to force sales will count the cost in margin." Based on the strong figures on online sales in December, he believed that the new year will lead retailers to invest more in multichannel capabilities. "For consumers, paying for Christmas will be the first priority of 2014; until wage growth outpaces inflation many households will remain confined to a tight budget for the foreseeable future," he said.