Nation of Online Shoppers

Consumers in the UK look online

Consumers in the UK use the Internet for shopping more than their counterparts in other major countries, a new Ofcom report has revealed.

UK consumers watch more TV online, use their mobiles more to go online and play more games on their phones. The report also reveals UK customers are paying lower prices for their communications than many consumers across the world.

Ofcom’s sixth International Communications Market report into the global communications market looked at take-up, availability and use of broadband, landlines, mobiles, TV and radio in 17 countries.

The report found that eight in ten UK internet users (79%) said they had ordered goods or services online in 2010, higher than any other European country, with just 27% of consumers in Italy claiming to have done so.

UK internet users were also more likely to visit retail websites online than other countries, with nine in ten (89%) claiming to do so in 2011.

The number of people using their mobiles to go online was also higher in the UK with nearly half (46%) of UK internet users using their phones to go online in October 2011.This was higher than in all the other countries surveyed.

UK consumers were also more likely to play games on their phone (34% compared with 16% in France).

A quarter (25%) of UK mobile users accessed news content on their mobiles, significantly higher than in other European countries.

This could be partly due to higher smartphone take-up and UK newspaper websites having mobile specific websites.

Social networking is a global phenomenon, with over three quarters of consumers in the markets surveyed saying that they have visited a social networking site, with the majority saying they visit them on a daily basis.

This is much higher among 18-24 year olds, with eight in ten (83%) visiting on a daily basis.

UK consumers are more likely to access social networking sites on a mobile phone than other countries, with 43% of those with social networking site profiles saying they do so compared to just 30% in the US.

(Source: Ofcom Reports)