Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Britons top online shopping survey

The amount of money Britons spend on internet shopping rose by 14 per cent last year, new figures show
The amount of money Britons spend on internet shopping rose by 14 per cent last year, new figures show

Britons spend more than £1,000 a year each shopping online - more than any other country.

New research reveals that the amount of money spent on internet shopping shot up by 14% to £1,083 last year, compared with £950 in 2010.

Australians rank second at £842 per head, with Sweden third at £747, according to communications regulator Ofcom. Its report found that the average UK viewer watches just over four hours (242 minutes) of TV every day, with only the US (293 minutes) and Italy (253 minutes) watching more.

The study also showed that 62% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 40% of UK adults use their mobile phones to visit social networking sites, more than any other country.

UK consumers are also more likely to access TV shows over the internet - 23% of UK internet users do so every week compared with 17% in the US.

The UK also has one of the highest proportions of homes (41%) with high-definition TV, while 15% of UK consumers say they own a smart TV, enabling access to online services, according to Ofcom's International Communications Market Report.

For the first time, UK consumers are downloading more data on their mobiles and tablets than any other major nation. The UK has one of the highest penetrations of smartphones, at 58%, while 19% have a tablet computer. Only 37% use a desktop computer as their most frequent means of accessing the internet.

Half (51%) use a laptop most often to connect to the internet, while 6% prefer smartphones and 6% other connected devices. One sixth (16%) of all website traffic in the UK was on a mobile, tablet or other connected device, higher than any other country in Europe.

Ofcom's director of research James Thickett said: "We have always been a nation of TV lovers, and our research shows that UK consumers are world leaders in using the latest TV technology. By catching up on programmes online or using smart TVs, the UK public is finding new ways to enhance their viewing experience.

"Our research reveals that the UK leads the way in using the internet on the move. Increasingly, it's mobile devices like smartphones and tablets that are driving this growing demand for data - and in the UK it seems to be social networking sites that are behind this in particular. We have a long history of catalogue shopping in the UK, and as many daily activities are increasingly carried out online, the internet has become the new destination for many shoppers."

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