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British consumers are online more than ever before

15 June 2015 - 09:50 by Graham Miller

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The latest figures from Google reveal that people in the UK are more likely to own smartphones than anywhere else in Europe, resulting in continued growth in web use and helping retailers to make more sales online.

28 per cent of people in the UK own and use five or more devices which offer internet access, while on average across all consumers, this dips to 3.3 devices, an impressive amount nevertheless.

92 per cent of people aged under 44 use the internet at least once a day, which is having a marked impact on shopping habits.

Almost two thirds of people tend to use the internet to carry out product research and find out more about nearby retailers, within 24 hours of making a purchase. This means that businesses may be better off targeting location-based search traffic if they want to boost sales.

40 per cent of people from the UK who carry out safe shopping online with overseas retailers tend to do so because this gives them the widest variety of items to buy. This further suggests that a truly international e-commerce market is being developed, as people get more comfortable with the idea of dealing with retailers that are not based in their own country.

64 per cent of people choose to browse the web and use other online services while they are sitting in front of the TV, with the majority of this group made up of smartphone users. Tablet use still accounts for about a third of internet use while watching TV, but the convenience and constant availability of smartphones seems to be winning the day at the moment.

Studying consumer habits is important for retailers, as it lets them meet the needs of modern shoppers.