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UK shoppers switching to the Web

31 July 2006  |  4705 views  |  0 hands at a keyboard

The latest research from the Association for Payment Clearing Services (Apacs) shows that for the first time more than half of all UK adults made an online purchase during 2005.

Apacs says 25 million or 52% of all UK adults made an online purchase last year, an 11% increase over 2004. The number of online purchases is also growing, with the average number of purchases made by Web shoppers in the year rising from 13.6 in 2004 to 18.5 in 2005.

This was also reflected in total online card spending figures, which were up from 262 million transactions in 2004 to 310 million in 2005. The value of these transactions increased from £16 billion in 2004 to £22 billion last year.

Unlike on the high street where credit cards represent just six per cent of payments, cards make up 49% of all payments made on the Internet.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at Apacs, says: "The Internet is now very much part of mainstream culture in the UK, and for many people it is the first port of call when looking for certain items to buy. In 2005, for the first time, more than half of all adults made an online purchase, which demonstrates this increasingly important role the Internet is playing in the lives of UK consumers."

The figures also show an increase in online spending at auction sites and around 14% of the 34 million adults who use the Internet (4.9 million) made their most recent purchase from an auction site in 2005. There were 79 million transactions over this period and £2.8 billion was spent on e-auction sites.

Separate figures release by Apacs last week showed record spending on plastic cards in the first half of 2006, with a record £151 billion of purchases made using plastic.

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