- Last year, almost every British adult under 50 reported buying something online
- Across the country, use of online stores has increased 40% over the past decade
- Number of over-65s shopping online increases 200% since 2010
A new study indicates that the internet has become the UK’s primary source for “retail therapy” over high street shops, as almost every adult across Britain now reports purchasing various goods via online stores on a high-frequency basis.
New research from mobile phone accessory supplier Case Monkey assessed data drawn from ONS to find that 87% of British adults report using online stores to purchase goods last year.
Overall, use of online stores has increased 40% on figures from 10 years ago, where only 62% of the population reported buying something online within a 12-month period.
Concerning the ages of online shoppers, those the most likely to “add to basket” appear to be within the ages of 25-34, with almost all young Brits (99%) stating to have used online shopping over the course of 2020.
Adults aged 16-24 are the next most likely to buy goods online, at 96%, while a shared 95% of adults aged between 35-44 and 45-54 round off the highest users of digital stores.
Despite a lower overall percentage of 65%, those aged 65+ have seen the highest increase in use of online shopping over the past decade; The number of senior citizens making use of online stores has soared by almost 200% on figures from ten years ago, at which point only 22% of citizens of the same age range reported shopping online.
Percentage of British adults using online stores to purchase goods
|Age group||2010||2020||10-year increase|
Concerning the frequency at which Brits make use of digital stores, over a third of adults (34%) report making at least eleven separate “shopping trips” over a three-month period. Furthermore, those within the age range of 35-44 are the most frequently active shoppers, with 44% among this grouping making eleven or more purchases a month.
Frequency of online shopping over three-month period (as percentage)
|Once or twice||25||11||12||9||19||26||16|
|Three to five times||30||26||23||36||25||39||30|
|Six to ten times||20||18||20||17||22||19||19|
|Eleven times or more||24||43||44||37||34||15||34|
Looking at the types of goods purchased by Britain’s online shopaholics, data from last year shows more than half (55%) using online stores to purchase clothes, shoes and accessories over a three-month period.
Food deliveries ranks second on the list, with one in three online shoppers using their internet services to order takeaways.
Despite the popularity of digital books, online news sites and webzines, 29% of digital shoppers report purchasing physical copies of books, magazines and newspapers online. Comparatively, physical copies of films, series and music appear toward the lower end of the list, both seeing less than 15% of online shoppers making purchases of these types.
At the lowest end of the list are purchases of bicycles, motorised vehicles and related spare parts, with only 8% of shoppers reporting purchases of these types over a three-month period, most likely owing to a lesser frequent need to purchase such goods in general.
Type of goods purchased over three-month period (as percentage)
|Clothes, shoes and accessories||49||62||55|
|Deliveries from restaurants, fast-food chains or caterers||32||32||32|
|Printed books, magazines or newspapers||28||30||29|
|Furniture, home accessories or gardening products||29||28||28|
|Computers, tablets, mobile phones or accessories||27||21||24|
|Children’s toys or childcare items||19||24||22|
|Cosmetics, beauty or wellness products||15||29||22|
|Cleaning or personal hygiene products||16||20||18|
|Consumer electronics (TVs, stereos, cameras or household appliances)||23||13||18|
|Sports goods (Excluding sports clothing)||22||12||17|
|Food or beverages from stores||13||14||13|
|Medicine or dietary supplements||13||13||13|
|Physical copies of films or series||15||11||13|
|Physical copies of music||15||10||12|
|Bicycles, mopeds, cars, or other vehicles or their spare parts||11||5||8|
Commenting on the study, a spokesperson for Case Monkey stated: “The increasing popularity of online shopping over the past decade proves how integral the internet has become to our everyday livelihood. The speed, convenience and overall ease involved in ordering all manner of goods directly to our doorsteps no doubt fuels this fire, and such services clearly eased the difficulties faced by the nation during last year’s lockdowns.”
This study was conducted by Case Monkey, which offers the largest selection of cases for smartphones, tablets and other smart devices.