Brits 'shop online more than Europeans' header image

Published: 7th Oct 2014

Brits love online shopping. Whether it's bidding on eBay auctions or getting obsessed with Amazon once you've discovered the joys of next-day delivery, it seems we just can't get enough of it. And new research from Nielsen shows we're far more willing to buy stuff over the internet than our European peers.

The information and measurement company's latest Global Survey of Ecommerce - a poll of more than 30,000 web users in 60 countries - revealed UK consumers are nearly 40 per cent more likely to make online purchases than other European citizens.

Furthermore, it turns out we're making use of the internet even when we're planning to buy on the high street. Some 56 per cent of Brits surveyed said they read up about potential purchases via the web before committing to an in-store purchase. Conversely, 43 per cent admitted to going into shops just to check out products, before going online to buy.

Half of all respondents claimed to spend time researching on the internet before they buy, with 54 per cent of this group turning to online reviews for help and 18 per cent using social media. However, Brits were found to lag behind the European average of 33 per cent when it comes to visiting sites like Facebook and Twitter for advice about purchases.

When buying over the internet, 76 per cent of British shoppers favour a computer, while mobiles (25 per cent) and tablets (24 per cent) lagged behind in second and third places respectively.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen's UK head of retailer and business insight, commented: "The way people navigate between shops and the internet to buy isn't consistent.

"For some, the internet is simply the checkout, for others it plays a fundamental role in what to buy, from whom and whether to do so online or in-store. For the same person, this behaviour could differ between products. The proliferation of devices simply adds to the complexity."