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UK remains Europe’s e-commerce leader

12 October 2015 - 11:27 by Graham Miller

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The latest report on the state of e-commerce from the Office for National Statistics and Eurostat has shown that British consumers are still ahead of their continental counterparts when it comes to safe shopping online, according to

79 per cent of UK consumers placed at least one online order last year, a higher proportion than anywhere else in Europe. But with Denmark coming in a close second with a 78 per cent e-commerce adoption rate, it may be that Britain is eventually overtaken.

Meanwhile at the other end of the pile was Romania, where just a tenth of the population shopped online in 2014. And even in Italy, it was found that under a quarter of people have caught the e-commerce bug.

The UK has always been a leader when it comes to online orders, although the rise of e-commerce has been significant, even in the past decade. Back in 2005, just 44 per cent of people placed online orders over the course of the year and today this rate has almost doubled.

Another key aspect to take away from the ONS figures is that the rise of online shopping is helping to boost the British economy, with a fifth of private sector turnover now attributed to e-commerce sales.

Analysts point out that there are various reasons for the rise in online revenues in recent years, with consumer enthusiasm and government investment both helping to stimulate sales.

This is not to say that the market is without its problems, as consumers have a number of persistent complaints about the way online shopping operates, relating to everything from the convenience of placing orders to the levels of security which retailers are able to offer customers. But more consumer spending means more investment in making improvements is possible.