Dec 12 - Britain's love of online shopping shows no signs of slowing, with average spending per household rising 16 percent in 2012, more than twice the level in France and nearly ten times spending in Italy. Hayley Platt looks at why.
Forget London, Milan and New York - the internet is the destination of choice for many shoppers these days. And it seems consumers in the UK are buying online more than most. A new survey by the UK's Telecoms watchdog Ofcom shows Brits spent an average of 1,175 pounds per head last year - 16 percent more than the previous year. That's twice as much as the French and nearly ten times more than the Italians. SOUNDBITE: Julia internet shopper, saying (English): "I'll be doing most of my Christmas shopping online for the convenience." SOUNDBITE: Ashley, internet shopper, saying (English): "I can just sit there with a cup of coffee and a cigarette and I haven't got to do anything just click!" Consumers in Britain also order goods online more often than shoppers in any of the 17 countries surveyed. Nearly three in every four Britons (73%) shop online at least once a month and one in four (24%) do so weekly. Japan comes second in the online shopping charts, followed by Germany. The UK's love of shopping is well documented and there are several reasons why they now like buying online. Trust in online merchants is higher than in other countries It has a reliable postal service and some of the cheapest mobile phone deals. Prices in Germany, Spain and the US are double what they are in the UK. And British fixed-line broadband is also the cheapest. Having four competing network operators helps. But there's also evidence Britons like staying at home - they spent more on pay-TV than their counterparts in France, Germany, Italy and the United States.