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UK Consumers Increase Web Usage and E-commerce Activities

12 August 2013 - 14:02 by Graham Miller

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The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have found that 73 per cent of British adults use the web daily. Meanwhile 53 per cent of the population now use a smartphone to access their favourite sites and services, which is a significant rise from the 24 per cent who fell into this category back in 2010.

The good news for web-based retailers is that the growing usage of the internet in the UK is also giving consumers confidence about shopping online. 72 per cent of people who use the internet regularly now make e-commerce purchases for both products and services, up from 53 per cent of web users who did so back in 2008, according to

Another interesting statistic revealed in the ONS report is that 55 per cent of Brits now access news sites and services while they are online. 50 per cent said that they use online banking, 43 per cent said that they had looked up medical and health information through the internet and just over a fifth revealed that they had used a site offering safe shopping online to buy their groceries.

This is all positive for the future of e-commerce, but a startling statistic also revealed that four million UK households, or about 17 per cent of the total, have no form of internet connection whatsoever. 59 per cent of the people who do not have the web at home say that this is because they feel household access is unnecessary, while a fifth said that they lacked the technical aptitude to get connected. Just 13 per cent claimed that they could not afford an internet connection and thus did not have one. The government needs to work to make the web more accessible, so that this digital divide is not one that causes a rift in society.