Royal Mail says online shopping has increased 9% this year

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Online shopping in the UK has risen by 9% year on year, according to a new report from Royal Mail. And they also say that UK online shoppers make 87% of their retail purchases online, up from 80% in 2017. So, all in all, it sounds like British ecommerce is in rude good health and continuing to expand.

The study also found that men typically spend more online than women. On average, men spent £255 online over a period of three months, whereas women spent £204. Younger shoppers also typically buy online more frequently than shoppers of an older age. On average, those aged between 18-54 years purchased seven items, compared to six for those over the age of 55 years old, in the same three month period.

When shopping online, laptops are the device most commonly used in the evening, while smartphones are most likely to be used at all other times of the day. Since 2017, smartphone usage has increased in all locations. 78% now use their smartphone for online shopping whilst travelling or commuting, up from 71% in 2017. Almost half (45%) of UK shoppers like to browse online in their free time and 44% of British shoppers find it cheaper to buy online than in retail outlets.

The growth of online retailing is driving a relentless pursuit of value for money. People continue to look online for the best deals and prices and this is driving the proportion of money being spent online, which has increased for the second year in a row. Retailers of all sizes must ensure they are responding to the ever changing digital landscape alongside trends in online shopping behaviour being led by younger shoppers.
– Royal Mail

It is interesting to speculate whether the primary driving force, relentless or not, is simply value for money. Convenience and habit surely also play a critical role in the ongoing growth of online retail.

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