01 November 1999

UK SHOPPERS spent £2bn via the internet in the past twelve months, according to a new survey by BMRB Internet Monitor. The buying surge - a tenfold increase year-on-year - is attributed to cheaper internet service provision, continued growth in computer sales, proliferation of web shopping sites, and growing consumer confidence in the security of internet purchases. BMRB reports that in the past four months alone, the number of consumers willing to use their credit card for web purchases rose from 35% to 48%; while the total using the web for shopping rose by almost a third to 2.5m in the past six months. The latter figure represents a quarter of all British internet users. The biggest spenders were identified as those in the 45-55 age group who have internet access at work: their average online spend tops £1,000 annually.