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60 Million Brits Now Shop Online, Study Finds

14 February 2020 - 08:45 by Paul Tissington

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A new report published by Hootsuite and WeAreSocial has looked at the state of play in the UK’s e-commerce sector, revealing that the vast majority of the country’s population carried out safe shopping online in the past year, according to Internet Retailing.

55 per cent of web-based sales were conducted via smartphones, making mobile dominant over desktop devices in this arena.

The industry was worth a total of $233 billion (£172 billion) in 2019, and the e-commerce market itself managed to grow by 11 per cent, showing that there is still a lot of enthusiasm for embracing this type of retail technology amongst consumers.

Analysts found that the typical online spend for a British consumer using the internet to make purchases over the course of the year was equivalent to £1021.

This report estimates that just under a fifth of all retail spending is now attributable to online outlets, which is a more conservative estimate than has been made by other studies, including those from the BRC and the ONS. Even so, this indicates that e-commerce has a strong foothold in the UK, and it is still a leading nation when it comes to online shopping.

Close to two-thirds of shoppers who make use of mobile devices to access the internet were found to be fans of harnessing retail apps to make purchases. Activities like instant messaging and social media use may be more popular on portable platforms, but shopping is still a habit for a large number of people.

The study also looked at the ways in which consumers are searching for products, with Google leading the list of sources ahead of social media sites, including Facebook and YouTube. Dedicated shopping sites Amazon and eBay are also amongst the most prolifically used platforms, with the former achieving over 350 million hits a month.