UK online shoppers spend more per household than any other country

A report has suggested that UK online shoppers spend more per household than consumers in any other country, as a global shift from stores to the internet takes charge.

Consumers in the UK spent the equivalent of $5,900 using payments online back in 2015, according to the UK Cards Association. This was higher than Norway ($5,400), the USA ($4,500) and Australia ($4,000).

It's believed that the link between debit and credit cards as well as the ease of delivery for online items has driven this trend over the last few years. New figures from the association also showed that £154bn was spent via online stores in 2016 - up by over 25% in just two years.

The key area of growth was entertainment such as cinema and concert tickets, takeaways and music downloads - these types of purchases accounted for one in four online card purchases in the UK. The report shows that 67% of concert ticket spending and 61% of cinema, theatre and dance spending was made online.

The popularity of renewing contracts such as insurance cover online and payments into bank accounts over the internet also meant financial services registered considerable activity online. More than a quarter (27%) of what was spent online was in financial services.

Many shoppers still fear that online shopping opens the door to cyber-criminals, but Richard Koch, head of policy at the UK Cards Association, argued that security was improving.

"Since the early days of internet shopping, there has been a host of innovations, from digital wallets to one-click purchases, which bring enhanced security, choice and convenience for customers and which will lead to continued growth in the sector. The additional protection provided when using a card also gives consumers extra peace of mind when they are shopping online," he said.