£2bn spent as 3.5m UK shoppers buy online this Christmas

– British shoppers are becoming increasing at ease with shopping on the internet, according to new research, which reveals that 27 per cent of the UK's internet population now purchase online.

– British shoppers are becoming increasing at ease with shopping on the internet, according to new research, which reveals that 27 per cent of the UK's internet population now purchase online.

Books remains the number one purchase for those buying, according to the results of the CommerceNet/Nielsen Internet and Ecommerce Survey.

The survey that showed nearly a third of UK adults are at ease when buying online, with even more using the Internet for product and price comparisons.

When asked what they purchased at web sites, 41 per cent of online buyers said that they bought books, with 29 per cent purchasing CDs.

Half have spent in excess of £100 online over the last six months and 70 per cent are repeat customers.

The research found an overwhelming 49 per cent of web users said that they used the web to check out products and compare prices, with books, CDs, computer software/hardware and airline tickets being the most popular goods searched for.

The survey also investigated why people choose not to buy online. The main reason cited by respondents were issues relating to security, with 39 per cent saying that they lacked trust in the payment systems on offer on the web. Other reasons for not buying included preferences for shopping in store and no interest in shopping on the internet.

This came as a second survey, from Continental Research, revealed that the average regular user of the internet in the UK is spending on average £170 online over the past 12 months.

Nearly £2 billion was spent in total by the UK's 11.1 million internet users representing one per cent of all retail purchases.

Continental Research's report tracks the growth of awareness and usage of the internet and views its development in the home, at work, and at places of education.

The survey put the total number of people with access to the internet at home or work at 18.6 million people or 40 per cent of the UK population. It found that 11.1 million people use it at least once a month.



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