Ofcom calls UK nation of online shoppers

Another survey underlines the UK's preference for retail websites

December 14, 2011
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In the second time in the space of a week, the UK has been labelled a nation of avid online shoppers.

Last week, KMPG published a survey of 10,000 consumers worldwide which showed that four out of five Brits preferred to buy DVDs, books and games online, when the global average is two out of three folks.

And this week, a new Ofcom report highlights the growing prevalence of online shopping in this country.

This study also determined that 79% of UK citizens had ordered items online in 2010, which was higher than any other European country.

That compares to the lowest country in Europe, Italy, where the figure was just 27%.

UK consumers don’t just do more shopping online, but also spend longer on retail sites – an average of 84 minutes in one surveyed month, January of this year. Italians spent just 20 minutes by comparison.

The sixth Ofcom International Communications Market report also found the UK to be a nation of telly addicts relative to Europe, with an increasing proportion watching programmes online on the likes of iPlayer.

27% of Brits admitted to watching online TV every week, up 3% on the previous year and again the highest proportion of all countries surveyed.

The average UK citizen watches four hours of TV every day, half an hour more than the average of all countries and the highest year-on-year increase at 7.5%.

Digital video recorder take-up was also found to have increased by 4% on 2009’s figure, with 36% of UK households now having DVR. That’s second only to the US on 41%.

Ofcom further found that smartphone ownership almost doubled in the UK over the past year and a half, from 24% to 46%. Again, that was the highest figure in Europe, although only just ahead of Spain on 45%.

UK consumers also like to game on their phones, with 34% admitting a penchant for Angry Birds compared to 16% in France.


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