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UK leads the way for online spending, according to Ofcom

16 Dec 2013

The UK is leading the way for online shopping, a new study by the communications industry watchdog suggests.

According to Ofcom’s annual International Communications Market Report, online shopping by UK consumers rose by an average of 16% from 2011 to 2012.

Ofcom compared online habits and communications deals from a range of countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States.

It found that the UK is spending significantly more online than any of the 17 other countries surveyed, with the average yearly spend per head totalling £1,175 – up from £1,017 in 2011.

The research also suggests that UK consumers are more confident about buying and paying for goods on the internet. Some 83% of people questioned said they trusted the retailer to send the correct item, compared to 64% of Japanese and 68% of Italian consumers.

In addition, Ofcom found that UK consumers had access to the most competitive deals for mobile phones, landlines and broadband, with the country ranking top of the league table.

Commenting, Ofcom's director of research, James Thickett, said: ‘Consumers in the UK are benefiting from one of the world's most price competitive marketplaces for communication services.

‘Telecoms bills have been falling in real terms in the UK for the past ten years. However, consumers are not just benefiting from cheaper deals - they are also getting much more for less, as the quality and range of telecoms services has expanded hugely in that time,’ he added.