Trusting Britons splash out the most online

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain's love of online shopping shows no signs of slowing, with average spending per household rising 16 per cent in 2012 to 1,175 pounds (S$2,408), more than twice the level in France and nearly ten times spending in Italy, Ofcom said on Thursday.

Consumers in Britain also order goods online more often than shoppers in any of the 17 countries surveyed by the telecoms regulators for its annual International Communications Report that it publishes in December.

Some 73 per cent of respondents in the survey bought items online at least monthly, Ofcom said, and 24 per cent weekly, ahead of second and third-placed Japan and Germany.

The regulator asked, in 9,070 interviews conducted in September and October this year, why Britons were more likely to shop online. It found that UK shoppers trusted online retailers more than shoppers in other countries and had greater confidence in the security of shopping sites.

Ofcom said seven out of 10 people in Britain felt secure when paying for products online, higher than any other country.

The survey also found that Britain, where four network operators slug it out and where there is strong competition in the retail market, had the cheapest mobile phone deals, with prices half or more than half the level found in Germany, Spain and the United States.

It is also cheapest for fixed-line broadband, but it was beaten in landline deals by Germany and Italy.

Britons spent more on pay-TV than their counterparts in France, Germany, Italy and the United States, although Ofcom noted the premium charged for HD services pushed up prices in the UK.

The survey was compiled by independent market research agency Populus.

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