UK online average spend rises 16% fuelled by cheap communication deals

UK shoppers are spending well over £1,000 per year online as consumer confidence in the security of online retailers continues to rise.

Research by Ofcom shows that the average amount spent per person during 2012 rose 16 per cent to £1,175 per person compared to the 2011 figure of £1,017. The number is all the more remarkable when compared to the remainder of the 17 countries that Ofcom looked at as the figure is £307 higher than the second placed country on the list - Australia.

“Ofcom has investigated why online shopping is so popular in the UK relative to other countries. This reveals that UK shoppers trust online retailers more than shoppers in other countries and have greater confidence in the security of the sites they buy from,” said an Ofcom press release.

This manifests itself in the fact that 83 per cent of UK consumers trust online retailers to send them the correct item online compared to only 64 per cent of Japanese consumers and 68 per cent of Italian consumers echoing the same sentiments.

Additionally 70 per cent of UK consumers feel secure when paying for a product online and 80 per cent of UK online shoppers are confident about advertising being accurate when buying an item through an online retailer.

The thirst for online shopping is also being driven by the increased availability of mobile devices and the same Ofcom press release indicated that UK consumers are able to take advantage of some of the cheapest deals around.

As a proportion of household income UK consumers spent 2.3 per cent on communications deals with those in the US spending 2.5 per cent and German consumers spending 3.4 per cent.

“The report confirms that consumers in the UK are benefiting from one of the world’s most price competitive marketplaces for communications services,” stated James Thickett, director of research at Ofcom. “Telecoms bills have been falling in real terms in the UK for the past ten years. However, consumers are not just benefiting from cheaper deals – they are also getting much more for less, as the quality and range of telecoms services has expanded hugely in that time.”

Mobile shopping has helped to fuel the UK retail market as a whole ahead of Christmas with an unprecedented 63 per cent of consumers using a mobile to do Christmas shopping this year.