UK consumers are the biggest online spenders in the world, report reveals

UK consumers spent more money online in recent years than shoppers in any other country, according to the latest figures from the UK Cards Association.

A new report showed the average UK household spent £4,610 online in 2015, compared to £4,220 per Norwegian household, £3,515 per US household and £3,125 per Australian household.

The organisation’s latest statistics show that online purchases averaged £422 million per day in 2016, reaching a total of £154 billion over the course of the entire year. This is an increase of 28 per cent over figures from 2014, when internet spending stood at £120 billion.

The research found that 26 per cent of all card spending was online last year, up from 22 per cent in 2014. One in four purchases were for entertainment, including cinema tickets and digital content.

Overall, there was a 38 per cent increase in the number of purchases made online, which jumped from 1.3 billion in 2014 to 1.8 billion in 2016 – an average of 150 million per month.

“The internet enables millions of people to access services around the clock from wherever they are based,” said Richard Koch, head of policy at the UK Cards Association.

“Payment cards have driven this revolution, providing an easy and secure way to shop online, whether it is to buy an app for your phone or a sofa for your living room.

“Since the early days of internet shopping there have been a host of innovations, from digital wallets to one-click purchases, which bring enhanced security, choice and convenience for customers and which will lead to continued growth in the sector. The additional protection provided when using a card also gives consumers extra peace of mind when they are shopping online.”

The report also gave some insight into the industries where online payments are most common. 37 per cent of money spent on travel is spent online, including 54 per cent of spending on flights.

For the full report, see the UK Cards Association’s website.

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