The value of the global online lingerie market could exceed £40 billion by 2020, a new report suggests.

According to market research company Technavio, the sector will grow 17% per year over the next four years, largely driven by smartphone penetration and a growing ecommerce industry.

Lead research analyst for apparel and textiles Brijesh Kumar Choubey said the US and European markets are driving this growth to the greatest extent.

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“Brands such as Victoria’s Secret and Calvin Klein contribute a significant portion of the market’s revenue, as consumers from countries where these bricks-and-mortar stores are not present purchase lingerie through their online websites and other e-retailers.

“Therefore, the upsurge of B2C e-commerce is expected to augment the growth of this market during the forecast period.”

In 2015, nearly 28% of the global population used smartphones. The e-commerce industry has benefitted significantly from this development, and clothing and apparel are important categories that have propelled the growth of the industry across all regions.

The increasing penetration of mobile devices with Internet access has presented vendors with an active platform to engage with consumers on the go. In addition, consumers get a sense of privacy when shopping online while also getting access to a wide portfolio of products.

The trend has caught the attention of multiple vendors across the globe, including those in developing countries where changing lifestyle trends have positioned lingerie as a product of regular purchase, Technavio suggests.

In 2015, the global e-commerce market reached a value of USD1.7 trillion (£1.2 trillion), a growth of 16% from 2014. This number suggests substantial growth opportunities for online lingerie vendors.