UK is a nation of data-hungry net shoppers, says survey

Facebook on a mobile phone Mobile data use is driven by social networking, the report finds

Related Stories

Internet shopping is more popular in the UK than in any other major country, a survey from regulator Ofcom suggests.

Consumers in the UK spend an average of £1,083 a year on internet shopping, compared with Australia which spends the second highest at £842, it said.

The UK's fondness for net shopping is, in part, driven by mobile devices.

UK consumers are also downloading more data from their mobiles than any other nation, according to the survey.

The study also indicated that:

  • In December 2011 the average UK mobile connection used 424MB (megabytes) of data, higher than Japanese users who averaged 392MBs.
  • 16% of all web traffic in the UK was from mobiles, tablets or other connected devices - more than any other European country.
  • Four in ten UK adults now access Facebook, Twitter and others social networks via their mobiles.
  • For 18 to 24-year-olds the figures is even higher, at 62%.

The findings form part of Ofcom's seventh International Communications Market Report, which looks at the take-up, availability, price and use of broadband, landlines, mobiles, TV and radio across 17 major countries.

Brits are also the most likely to watch TV-on-demand and use digital video recorders, the report suggests.

Big TVs

UK consumers are embracing the new generation of internet-enabled TVs with 15% owning such a set, compared to 10% in the US.

Our TVs are also getting bigger - more than a third of TVs sold in the first quarter of 2012 were between 33in (84cm) and 44in (112cm).

The UK remains the cheapest place to buy communication services, although the gap is narrowing.

Ofcom said a basket of communication services - including fixed-line telephone, mobile calls and texts and fixed and mobile broadband and TV - costs on average £146 in the UK.

That was £32 cheaper than in France, £101 cheaper than Italy and £168 cheaper than the US.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    I'm a software developer, and eCommerce is my bread and butter so, of course I'm all in favour of internet shopping. Keep up the good work UK.

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    Specialist stores are an example of what to do, one place I shop at regularly is going strong, mainly because they know their market and are willing to branch out into logically related stuff as well as what they originally sold, and do their research so that I can find something I haven't heard about before there.

    I could get everything from there cheaper online, but they make it worth the money

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    There are several reasons we are internet shoppers. 1) Time, we work some of the longest hours in Europe. 2) Our high streets are full of the same shops (big corps) which don't offer anything special. Why waste your spare time wandering around a characterless shops when you can buy it from the online version. 3) City parking is too expensive and public transport rubbish!

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    When your taxes go up to replace those not paid by the likes of Amazon, and when your council tax goes up to pay for lost parking revenue and there are no local jobs for your kids then maybe you will look back on these decisions to shop on line. Yes they save you money but as the old adage goes you don’t get anything for nothing there will be a payback.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    What has shopping in shops got to offer over the internet? Nothing. You can get far more information about any product on line. It is always open whenever you want. Goods are delivered to your door. Far more alternatives can be seen, and cheaper. High streets need special trips, most of the shops have the same stuff, hard to find, expensive to get to, and expensive for the same goods.


Comments 5 of 7


More Technology stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.