Online accounts for 20% of UK spending header image

Published: 29th May 2014

One in five purchases bought on a credit or debit card is made through the internet. 

This is according to new research from Barclaycard and IMRG, which found more people are using their broadband connection to shop than ever before. 

It revealed online trade is growing 11 per cent annually and a total of £107 billion will be spent over the internet by UK households in 2014. This works out at roughly £4,000 per household.

Chris Wood, Barclaycard managing director, stated: "Online shopping has come a long way since it first emerged in 1984 and now accounts for one in every five pounds spent on credit and debit cards in the UK.

"More and more of us are turning to the web to research, compare prices and buy everything from cinema trips and electronics to the latest fashions, making it an inextricable part of modern retail."

The organisations found downloading music is the fastest growing area of online spending. It increased by 124 per cent in 2013 and 79 per cent of all music is now purchased through the internet.

Air travel accounts for the most money spent online, with 80 per cent of the total cash transferred over the web spent on booking flights. The report said spending in this area has increased 4.2 per cent in 2014 already. 

Meanwhile, spending on concert and entertainment tickets almost doubled last year and 59 per cent of cinema and theatre spend is carried out over the internet.

Andrew McClelland, chief operations and policy officer at IMRG, said people are now getting used to paying for everyday items online and claimed this will become the norm over the next few years. 

He also predicted individuals will make online purchases from a wider variety of devices, be it smart watches or even smart household appliances such as fridges, which can be programmed to buy food online as soon as it runs out.

The latest research from IMRG and Capgemini has revealed a third of online purchases are now made on a mobile device.