It’s official – the UK is the home of big spenders – online, that is. The UK Cards Association, who represent the card payment industry, have totted up the figures for 2016 and found that we spent a total of £154 billion last year – that averages at £422 million per day.
In 2015, we also spent more per household, than any other country in the world. We topped the list, splurging an average of £4,611, higher than the spending in households in America, Norway and Australia.
Internet shopping is full of temptation – next day delivery, free delivery and also free returns, plus, there’s the ease of ‘one click buying’. And because we can shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week from our beds, sofas and armchairs, it’s all too easy to spend, spend, spend.
So, exactly what, are we buying online? It turns out that entertainment leads the way when it comes to internet purchases with more than half (67%) of concert tickets and 61% of cinema, theatre and dance tickets, being bought online.
Another area that made up more than a quarter (27%) of internet purchases and transactions was finance, as savvy shoppers renew their car, home, pet and travel insurance online.
There is one area however, that online retailers haven’t quite cracked – and that’s grocery. A measly 7% of card expenditure went on buying food and drink in cyberspace, compared to 41% in store. So, it seems that whilst we’re happy to buy our insurance online, we’d much rather trot to the shops to buy our bread and milk.
Despite the fact that some shoppers are wary of internet transactions and are fearful of cyber criminals, the UK Cards Association believes that security is continually improving. But even if you’re a hardened online shopper, that doesn’t mean you should be complacent – we can all take more steps towards staying safe online regardless of what we’re doing electronically. So, if it sounds like a phish and looks like a phish – it probably is a phish – so don’t fall for it, and stay alert.