British e-shopping nears 2 billion monthly

WM Circle Logo

By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on June 21, 2003

British adults spend approximately 2 billion online every month and, in the UK, some 51% of men and 41% of women who have internet access use it every single day, according to research from The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Furthermore, an additional 26% of men use the internet at least three times a week.

According to the research, conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), those aged 25-34 use the internet the most, with 56% using it every day and a further 24% using it three times or more each week.

Although people of the older generation are less likely to have used the internet than those of the younger generation, the research found that the 'silver surfers' (the older generation) who do use the internet actually do so more frequently than those in the younger age groups (43% of older internet users use it every day, compared to only 28% of the 16-24 age group.)

Buying trends
According to the research, more than half of all adults (54%) use the internet (the world wide web) to make purchases and, like internet usage overall, this activity peaks at 65% for the 25-34 age group.

Geographically: Women are slightly less likely than men to buy online (52% compared with 56%). Residents of Wales and the West Country do the most online shopping (66%) compared to only 45% in the North East and Yorkshire.

Entertainment: CDs, DVDs and videos (41%) and books (31%) still remain the most popular online purchases.

Apparel: Nearly one-third of women (31%), but only 18% of men, have bought clothes online, and 26% of all adults have paid for travel online.

Food & drink: Just over one-fifth (22%) of all women have bought groceries or wine online while only 10% of men have done so. In contrast 9% of men, but only 2% of women, have bought electrical goods online. The over-55's are most likely to buy food or drink online, with 17% doing so (compared to only 3% of 16-24 year olds).

Oddities: A total of 56% (peaking at 66% for the 25-34 age group) said they had made an odd or unusual purchase over the internet. Some of the oddities cited included gravity boots, fifty gallons of foam latex, a storm-trooper outfit, a wrestling mask, and four African snails.

Total spend: Most respondents (86%) said they spent less than 100 online in an average month, perhaps reflecting the fact that low-cost items like CDs and books are still the most common online purchases. But 7% spend 100 -200 a month, while 3% spend 200 - 500 online each month.

Men spend an average of 95 a month, while women spend only 78. The average monthly online spend across genders and age groups is just over 86 per person, representing a total of nearly 2 billion per month.

"The results from the third quarterly Internet Banking and Buying Index once again demonstrate some interesting demographic differences in people's online behaviour," commented Richard Johnson, head of e-commerce for RBS.

More Info: