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E-commerce shoppers spend £3,370 a year as sector grows at a healthy rate

E-commerce shoppers spend £3,370 a year as sector grows at a healthy rate
Tuesday March 20 2012

UK consumers spent £3,370 on online shopping last year, new research from WorldPay has shown.

WorldPay's 2012 e-commerce basket survey also revealed that 40 per cent of shoppers purchase something on the internet at least four times a month, rising to 60 per cent three times a month.

Some exceptionally keen consumers complete even more frequent web transactions, as nearly ten per cent of respondents admitting to buying something online at least ten times a month.

WorldPay head of e-commerce products Gabriel Hopkins noted that the difficulties faced by bricks-and-mortar stores in the wider economy did not appear to be curbing shoppers' online spending habits.

"Every day we hear reports that consumer spending is under pressure, but e-commerce continues to grow at a healthy rate," he said.

Travel accounts for a significant proportion of online shopping, with 42 per cent of jetsetters likely to book their  accommodation online and 38 per cent using the web to buy air travel.

Consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on the internet when it comes to planning their holidays.

A recent study by IPK International revealed that online bookings accounted for more than half the travel sales across Europe for the first time ever last year.

Other areas where internet shoppers are likely to splash their cash include electronics, groceries, films and literature.

Men spend marginally more than women do when they shop online (£3,495 a year compared to £3,120) but where the money goes differs widely.

While men forked out £145 more a year on electronics, £150 more on lifestyle and entertainment and £235 more than travel, women spent far more on fashion and clothing - £315 compared to £188.

Mr Hopkins said that it would be "intriguing" to see how the cultural shift in spending habits impacts on the Office for National Statics (ONS) basket contents and value.

The ONS basket is a set of consumer products used on an annual basis to track the effect that inflation has on households' goods and services.

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