UK shoppers are world’s biggest spenders online, according to new report by regulator Ofcom

Shopping-cartAccording to a new report by regulator Ofcom, UK shoppers topped the list of those that spend comparatively more money shopping online compared with consumers in other countries.

The International Communications Market Report compared the availability, take-up and use of services in the UK and 16 other countries and analysed the responses of over 9,000 consumers across nine countries.

Researchers found that the UK had the highest per capita spend online in 2012, at £1,175, which was up 16% year on year. It was also 35% more than Australia, the second highest country of the eight considered on this metric, and 77% more than the US in third place.

UK consumers were spending ten times as much online as Italians, who came in last spending just £126 each.  Not only were British consumers spending more, they were also doing so more often, with  73% of the online population in the UK buying goods for delivery over the internet on at least a monthly basis.

Consumers in Japan (70%) and Germany (67%) were close behind, while those in Spain were least likely to shop online.

The mains reasons cited by UK consumers for shopping online were price (59%) and the fact it was easier than shopping in store (58%). This was generally true for most countries except Spain and Italy where only 25% of respondents to the survey felt it was easier to shop online.

Only 10% of Spanish and Italian consumers were confident that online retailers would dispatch the correct item compared with 83% of consumers in the UK and 82% of consumers in Germany who tended to trust online retailers to advertise products accurately.

One of the biggest barriers for consumers in other countries were the relatively high costs of delivery when shopping online. For example, Japanese consumers were most worried (72%), followed by France (64%) and Italy (61%) whereas there was a noticeably less concern among consumers in Germany (48%) and the US (49%).


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