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Love of online shopping based on traditional catalogue habits

03 December 2010 - 09:29 by Simon Crisp

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Analysts have found that the main reason that UK consumers lead most other European citizens when it comes to adopting online shopping, is because ordering from home has long been a tradition over here thanks to catalogue retail services.

Industry regulator Ofcom has discovered that consumers from the UK spend close to three times the amount on e-commerce sites than those living in other developed European nations, averaging 38 online purchases each year. This vastly exceeds the eight items which are bought by the average online shopper in Spain over the same period.

A variety of reasons are attributed to the popularity of safe shopping online in the UK, from the proliferation of credit cards to the early creation of Amazon's domestic site 12 years ago. However, the age old tradition of buying goods at home from a catalogue, is also seen as a core reason for the trust which Brits place in online retailers.

While catalogue shopping is a thing of the past for most, UK consumers have transferred their love of convenience in retail over to the web, with online auction site eBay expecting to sell 16 items every second in the run up to Christmas 2010.

Leading Europe in safe shopping online is one of the hallmarks of UK consumerism and studies by IMRG show that 35 per cent of the total global e-commerce spend is attributed to European nations. This is impressive when you consider that only around 500 million of the 2 billion people who shop online live in Europe.

IMRG's David Smith, explained that the highly competitive UK and European e-commerce market was making the services on this continent some of the best in the world. This is particularly true in Britain, where next day delivery has become superseded by trials of same day delivery schemes from mainstream online retailers.