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High street shoppers foot £2.7 billion in extra costs

20 October 2010 - 11:53 by Simon Crisp

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A new study has concluded that those UK consumers who can only shop on the high street could be paying a total of around £2.7 billion more each year, than those who are able to access the savings and security afforded by safe shopping online.

The Post Office found in a recent report that 91 per cent of people aged 60 and over did not realise that they can access significant savings if they shop online and it was also discovered that they had no clue that banks also offer increased interest rates for savers who open an online account.

A total of around £300 per person per year can be saved by making use of the myriad of online-only special deals, according to the Post Office survey. When multiplied by the nine million adults who lack internet connectivity in their own homes, this indicates that an additional £2.7 billion is being paid unnecessarily by those who cannot afford to get online or those who are unaware of its benefits.

This week a campaign is being run to encourage more people in the UK to get online, with a particular focus on encouraging elderly members of the community to overcome their technophobia and enter the internet age.

Nine per cent of those aged 60 and older who were questioned as part of the survey revealed that they were ignorant of the savings afforded by safe shopping online. 18 per cent were willing to say that having internet access was of no benefit.

2000 elderly citizens were involved in the Post Office's survey and just six per cent of this number knew that they did not need to go into their local bank if they set up an account online.

Respondents revealed that the major reason they do not go online is simply because they do not understand how they could possibly improve their lives using the internet.