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A survey by the Royal Mail has revealed that consumers in the UK spent an average of £609 online so far this year, with catalogues fuelling this spending increase.

The survey showed a link with catalogues, with 61% of consumers consulting one before making an online purchase, while 83% regularly use catalogues before buying online.

Scots were apparently the biggest online spenders, averaging £701, with those in the North West following close behind on an average of £627, compared to online shoppers in the South West who spent on average £549.

The biggest online shoppers are 45-54 year olds, spending an average of £724, and men are more likely to spend online - 20% have spent over £1,500 so far this year compared with 10% of women.

Royal Mail’s Catherine Campbell explained some of the results:

"Online retail continues to grow at a phenomenal rate and the intrinsic link between the rise in spending and the use of catalogues is only too clear. "

"Consumers are demanding greater choice and convenience about how, where and when they buy their goods, and the marriage between online and catalogues is a thriving relationship." 

According to IMRG, internet shopping accounts for 10% of all UK retail spending, and the total spent online is expected to reach £30 billion for 2006. This would represent a 56% increase from 2005.

With Christmas shopping about to really get underway, this figure may well reach well over £1,000 by the end of the year.

Further Reading:

Internet Statistics Compendium (available to E-consultancy subscribers or on a pay-per-view basis):


Graham Charlton

Published 19 October, 2006 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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