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UK online shopping behaviour revealed

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Online behaviour in the UK has greatly changed with over 90 percent of households now having internet access. This is an increase from 89 percent last year and 57 percent in 2006, according to the Office of National Statistics.

When it comes to assessing shopping habits, 77 percent of adults have bought goods or services online, up from 53 percent in 2008.

In terms of fashion, over 56 percent of adults have purchased clothing or sportswear items, making these the most popular online purchases in 2017

Shoppers are buying British

In 2017, 93 percent of adults who had bought online in the last 12 months, had done so from online sellers in the UK, while 31 percent had bought from sellers in other EU countries and 31 percent had bought from the rest of the world.

The use of mobile or smartphones to access the internet “on the go” has continued to increase (from 70 percent in 2016 to 73 percent in 2017) meaning shopping habits have changed to embrace m-commerce.

Younger people tend to be more active shopping on the internet than older people, but older people are catching up in their shopping activity.

The largest rise in adults buying online was in those aged 55 to 64 years, where there has been a rise of 30 percentage points since 2008, to 75 percent in 2017. The age group with the smallest rise in online shopping was those aged 25 to 34 years, with growth of 17 percentage points, to 89 percent in 2017.

In terms of shopping frequency, younger adults bought online more often than older adults. While 26 percent of adults aged 25 to 34 years bought online 11 or more times in the last 3 months, only 7 percent of those aged 65 and over also did so. Similarly, 24 percent of adults aged 25 to 34 years bought online 6 to 10 times, compared with 8 percent of those aged 65 and over.

Photo credit: Pexels and ONS shopping frequency, source: Office of National Statistics

Shopping behaviour