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Forty per cent of young UK consumers use e-commerce sites

08 August 2011 - 10:51 by Mike Price

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A new survey has discovered that two fifths of youngsters aged between 18 and 25 buy products via safe shopping online in the UK.

Over 1500 people within this age group participated in the study commissioned by MyVoucherCodes and unsurprisingly nine out of 10 respondents said that they accessed the internet at least once every day.

While e-commerce is popular amongst the under 25s it is social networking sites that prove to be the biggest reason for most to hit the web. Sixty percent said that they use the internet to aid in their studies at school or university while 33 per cent access online banking facilities via the web.

Spokesperson Mark Pearson said that even he was surprised by the sheer percentage of young people in the UK who are going on the internet regularly over 24 hours.

While e-commerce usage and safe shopping online are increasing rapidly, it looks like the next generation of consumers will assert its dominance in the UK to an even greater degree.

Of course this will be seen as yet another challenge for retailers who operate on the high street, with young adults turning to their laptops or mobile phones to research products and buy at the lowest price as a matter of course.

What is most telling about the study is the importance of social media and how in the future it will be a prevalent feature of life for a majority of the population. This should entice even more firms to harness platforms like Twitter and Facebook for advertising.

Marketing on social media needs to be imaginative and participatory in some way, which is perhaps why e-commerce tools are starting to become integrated with the largest networks. A shift in shopping habits is sure to follow, but only time can tell.