All statistical data, both commercial and public, reveals that Britain is the forefront leader for online shopping in Europe. In 2015, over three quarters of Brits made a purchase via the internet and on average, spent nearly twice as much per capita as an average European. Consequently, in-store retail outlets have struggled. Thus, implemented new retail technologies to retain their customers.

British online shoppers, however, are not a homogenous group. On the contrary, they consist of highly diverse individuals with diverse needs, preferences and habits. Despite that, one particular profile tends to stand out. Here is a breakdown of the profile of the typical British online shopper.

It's a he

It's a He

Online shopping is popular with both men and women but to the surprise of many, it's men who do the majority of their shopping via the internet in Britain. Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveals online retail sales in 2015 reveals that 77% of men were shopping online as opposed to 75% of women. The difference is minimal and the gap between men and women has been declining steadily over the recent years. But for the time being, the British online shopper is more likely to be a 'he' rather than a 'she'.


He Was Born Between 1992 and 2000

Shopping online has been embraced by all generations, including those above the age of 65. However, most online shopping in the UK is carried out by young adults aged between 16 and 24 years. According to ONS Statistical Bulletin, as many as 90% of Brits born between 1992 and 2000 have been buying via the World Wide Web in 2015.


He's Shopping for "Clothes or Sports Goods"

Brits are shopping for all kinds of things, ranging from groceries and furniture to electronic gadgets. Nevertheless, "clothes and sports goods" account for more than one half of all purchases via the World Wide Web in 2015. As many as 55% of Brits were purchasing these products online, while nearly three quarters (74%) of those born between 1992 and 2000 made such purchases through the internet.

Reads reviews

He Reads Online Reviews before Buying

Multiple studies regarding online shopping found that more than three quarters of online shoppers read reviews by other people online before going through with the purchase, while more than half of them like to consult their family or friends. This suggests that the British online shopper is not a compulsive buyer but rather a very careful one.

Uses a smartphone

He Uses Smartphone for Online Purchases

Considering that the smartphone overtook laptop and PC as the main device to access the internet, it's no surprise that most online purchases are made by using smartphone rather than a laptop or PC. There is some conflicting information about the actual amount of online purchases that are made from smartphones but according to most sources, more than 60% of online shoppers are using smartphones to access online shops and purchasing a product of some kind.

Uses credit card

He Uses Credit Card as a Payment Method

Credit cards is used to pay for nearly 50% of all online purchases in the UK. Debit cards are the second most popular payment method, paying for more than one third of purchases. The use of online payment systems such as PayPal has been on the rise in the recent decade, especially among young adults. But only about 1 in 10 Brits pays for online purchases with PayPal.


He Spends Nearly £1,000 per Year on Online Shopping

This corresponds with the ONS statistics which reveals that an average British online shopper spends anything from £100 to £499 in a period of three months. There are also those who spend less than that, while the most avid shoppers spend at least four times as much. But the majority of Brits, especially those born between 1992 and 2000, are most likely to spend within the range of £100-£499.


He Purchases Online One to Two Times a Month

Research shows that adults aged between 35 and 44 years purchase via the internet most often: 11 times or more in a period of 3 months. In contrast, those aged 16-24 do online shopping "only" 3 to 5 times in the same time period. This means that they make only 1 to 2 online purchases a month. Perhaps an increase of online purchases will help combat shoplifting incidents in England.


He Prefers to Shop Online on Sunday

A recent study on the frequency of online shopping on the most popular online shopping sites according to day of the week reveals that most online purchases are made on Sunday (16%), followed by Saturday. During the week, the British online shopper is most likely to buy through the Internet on Monday.

He Wants the Purchased Merchandise to be delivered the next day

Research on the preferred delivery time shows that most online shoppers in the UK are rather impatient. As much as 42% of Brits want the purchased merchandise to be delivered the next day. Slightly less than one third of British online shoppers are willing to wait 2 to 5 working days, while only 1 in 10 prefer the "Click & Collect" method as opposed to home delivery.

And the "Typical" British Online Shopper Is...


Besides on the ONS data, the profile of the British online shopper is also based on the results of research by SimilarWeb, Statista, Entrepreneur and Econsultancy.