British consumers buy more online than other Europeans

Clothes, hotels and airline tickets will be the most popular items bought online in the coming six months, according to a new survey by consumer insight specialists Nielsen.

Online shopping: UK consumers buy more online than other Europeans
Online shopping: UK consumers buy more online than other Europeans

The study polled 30,000 internet users across 60 countries and found that 45 per cent of British respondents intended to buy hotel rooms and clothes, including shoes and accessories, over the next six months.

Almost as many British consumers, 43 per cent, said they intended to buy airline tickets in the next six months. Tickets for events, such as cinema, concerts and exhibitions followed, with 41 per cent of respondents answering positively, followed by DVDs, games and books at 39 per cent.

According to Nielsen, the fastest-growing parts of the British e-commerce market is in motor-related products, computer equipment and eBooks. Triple the number of consumers since 2011 said they intended to buy one of these products in the coming six months.

In 2011, only five per cent of respondents said they would buy a car or motorcycle online but this figure rose to 17 per cent by 2014, Nielsen said. Similarly, the intent to go online and purchase computer hardware, software and eBooks have all tripled in the past three years.

British consumers were 40 per cent more likely to buy items online than other Europeans as a whole and this rose to 86 per cent for specific items such as buying DVDs and groceries.

However, 34 per cent of British respondents said they did not buy online at all because of delivery costs and 29 per cent said they did not feel comfortable giving their payment card details online.

Mike Watkins, UK head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, said: "Although it’s an undoubted success, three key actions are needed by retailers to fully realise e-commerce’s true potential.

"More reassuring security features to improve consumer confidence are a must, while free delivery should be a serious consideration.

"Sites should also have easier navigation and clearer presentation – retailers rightly put a lot of effort into perfecting this in-store and their virtual shops require the same level of attention."

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