Clothing retailers are gradually waking up to the fact that they can replicate the success of catalogues through the internet, an industry expert has suggested.

David Smith, director of operations with Interactive Media in Retail Group, a global body for online retailers, remarked that fashion is an industry which could expand considerably further online.

However, he explained many companies had not yet developed their online presence fully, adding there is a lot of room for growth.

Mr Smith claimed there had been "a perception that certainly existed up until quite recently that people would want to touch and feel but it never seemed to affect any of the catalogues that were selling clothing products".

Those retailers selling their fashionable brands online are doing well, he added.

As companies turn to the internet to promote their goods, many have to consider how best to boost their visibility within search engine results.

Consumers often use such portals as a means of navigating the web, making 10.8 billion searches in May alone, according to recent research published by comScore.

The analysis revealed Americans made two per cent more searches last month than in April.