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Online shopping grows as Brits lead Europe in sales

20 August 2014 - 12:03 by Graham Miller

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The UK is officially still home to the most vibrant and valuable market for shopping online in the whole of Europe, sharing joint first place with Denmark, in terms of the number of people who regularly make e-commerce purchases, according to BBC News.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics found that 74 per cent of adults have bought something online in the past 12 months, with clothing determined to be the most popular product category of them all.

The age of the consumer affects their likelihood of having shopped online, with 90 per cent of under 34s having used an e-commerce site over the past year. Meanwhile, just 40 per cent of those aged 65 and over have shopped online in 2014, which is still an improvement over the levels recorded in past studies.

No matter which point of the age spectrum you look at, more and more Brits are ditching the high street in favour of using the internet to get their retail fix. And the web is being harnessed for much more than just simple shopping.

Analysts found that just over half of adults in the UK now take advantage of online banking to manage their finances. Compared to the 30 per cent who did so in 2007, this is a marked improvement.

The ONS revealed that, on average, people from the UK spend more time each day using computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones than they do sleeping, which is unsurprising, given that most work and leisure activities now revolve around these devices.

Online shopping gives consumers the opportunity to engage with a wider range of retailers and buy a broader selection of products than could ever be offered on the high street, which is why its popularity is still growing.