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UK online shoppers spend more, and more often, than those in any other major economy: Ofcom

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People living in the UK shop online more often, and spend more when they do so, than in any other major economy, a new Ofcom report suggests.

Some 73% of the UK’s internet users shop over the internet at least once a month, while a quarter shop online at least once a week, found Ofcom’s International Communications Market Report. On average, they each spend £1,175 a year online, 16% more than last year. That’s £307 more than Australia, the second highest country, and more than double the average £560 spent per head in comparator countries.

The study also found high levels of trust among shoppers. Eighty three per cent said they trusted online retailers to send them the right item, and 80% said they trusted them to advertise products accurately. Some 70% also feel more confident in paying for products online. By way of comparison, 68% of Italian consumers feel confident that retailers will send the right item and only 48% of Japanese consumers believe online product descriptions.

The report also found that UK communications deals were cheaper than in other major countries and 66% of UK respondents to the report said they owned a smartphone.

Other key findings included the fact that in China, the number of mobile connections per 100 people has more than doubled in the last five years to 83, from 40.

Commenting on the study, Shingo Murakami, managing director of Rakuten’s , said: “Year after year, more Britons are turning to their computers rather than the tills, and it is online and multichannel retailers that will reap the rewards of seasonal shoppers this Christmas.

“With Brits spending more than anyone else online, retailers cannot afford to miss out on these potential sales over the festive season. Retailers today must have a strong multichannel offering and a clear digital strategy, including reward opportunities, incentives and of course, great customer service.”

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