Online spending up by 16%, according to Ofcom

Wallet with money and notes
Image caption Online spending by UK shoppers was up by 16%

The amount spent by UK shoppers online increased on average by 16% per person in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the latest data from Ofcom.

The figures show that the average spend was £1,175 compared to £1,017 the year before.

The figure is more than double the average spend per head of other countries in the survey.

According to Ofcom's research, shoppers in the UK trust online retailers more than shoppers in other countries.

The research also suggested that UK online shoppers have greater confidence in the security of the sites they buy from.

Ofcom's research for online shopping was based on data from IMRG, the industry association for online retail sites.

Ofcom's annual International Communications Market Report indicates that UK consumers benefit from cheaper access to mobile phones, landline and broadband deals than customers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the US.

The proportion of household income spent on communications deals in the UK was 2.3%, compared to 2.5% in the US and 3.4% in Germany, the report said.

Increased viewing

"Consumers in the UK are benefiting from one of the world's most price competitive marketplaces for communication services," said Ofcom's director of research, James Thickett.

"Telecoms bills have been falling in real terms in the UK for the past ten years. However, consumers are not just benefiting from cheaper deals - they are also getting much more for less, as the quality and range of telecoms services has expanded hugely in that time," he added.

Image caption UK consumers have the cheapest communication deals

The report also looked at people's television viewing habits.

It said:

  • On average people in the UK watch 241 minutes of television per day, this includes live television and programmes that may have been recorded on to a digital video recorder. Viewers in the US watched 293 minutes daily on average.
  • More than 77% of people who have a "smart TV", one which is connected to the internet, used it to watch "catch-up TV", using a service similar to BBC's iPlayer, ITV Player or 4OD. This was more than 15% higher than corresponding European countries and over 20% higher than in the US.

Additionally, researchers asked survey respondents if they were aware of 4G mobile services.

The UK had the highest proportion of people who knew about faster mobile speeds, it found.

This was unsurprising, given the high level of advertising around this service at the current time, said Ofcom.

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