Clothing sales drive online shopping growth, says ONS

image captionOnline offers have been important for many retailers

Clothes have been the most popular items bought on the internet this year, according to official figures.

Some 74% of adults had bought goods or services online this year, according to a snapshot of the way the internet is used in our daily lives.

Almost half had bought clothing, with 64% of 25 to 34-year-olds buying clothes online, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Internet activity has risen significantly in recent years.

The ONS said that 38 million, or 76%, of British adults accessed the internet every day. This total had risen by 21 million since 2006.

Internet shopping had grown in popularity, rising from 53% of adults buying goods and services online in 2008 to 74% now, it added.

Younger age groups have been regular users of online shopping, notably on smartphones, with nine out of 10 people aged 25 to 34 having shopped online. But the ONS has noted that people of pension age have increased their online shopping activities.

Some 40% of those aged 65 and over bought online in 2014. This was more than double the 2008 estimate of 16%.

Other financial transactions have also risen in popularity online. Internet banking is used by 53% of British adults in 2014 compared with 30% in 2007.

The figures come on the same day as the communications regulator Ofcom said UK adults now spent more time using technology devices than they did sleeping.

It said UK adults spent an average of eight hours and 41 minutes a day on media devices, compared with the average night's sleep of eight hours and 21 minutes.

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