Tom Keighley

UK is a nation of internet shoppers

Internet shopping in now more popular in the UK than any other major country, according to research from Ofcom.

UK consumers now spend more than £1000-per-year on internet shopping, ahead of Australians at £842, and Swedes at £747.

The findings are part of Ofcom’s 7th International Communications Market Report, which looks at communication usage across countries in areas such as broadband, mobiles, TV, radio and post.

Smartphone penetration is as high as 58% in the UK, and just under one in five own a tablet computer.

As such, UK consumers are downloading more data on their mobiles and tablets than any other nation. 16% of all website traffic in the UK was on a mobile, tablet or other connected device.

James Thickett, Ofcom’s Director of Research, said: “Our research shows that UK consumers continue to benefit from one of the most advanced markets for communications products and services.

“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.”

Mark Haviland, MD of Rakuten LinkShare, commented: “The fact that Brits are spending more online compared to the rest of the globe shows our huge appetite for internet shopping and brands can clearly see the value of the online and mobile channels as a result.

“The huge amount of mobile web traffic reveals that consumers are taking advantage of their connected devices to browse and buy. While it is important to have a mobile strategy in place, marketers and brands should also remember that the mobile purchase journey does not exist in isolation.

“A consumer will often go on a non-liner journey while making a decision to buy, which could touch the online, in-store and mobile worlds multiple times. Brands must keep this purchase journey in mind and ensure the consumer receives a seamless shopping experience. Brands can work with a CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) network to ensure they encourage consumers to act by offering engaging and powerful content, both online and on mobile, encouraging them to take that final leap and buy, whichever channel they are on.”

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