British consumers shop online more than any other 'major' country, according to the sixth annual International Communications Market report from Ofcom.

Other points of note were that consumers in the UK watch more TV online, use their mobiles to access the internet more and pay less for communications than many around the world.

79% of internet users in the UK said they had ordered goods or services online in 2010, a figure that's higher than any other European country. 

UK consumers are also more likely to visit retail websites than other countries, with 89% claiming to do so in 2011. Not only this, but they spend a long time there; 84 minutes on retail sites in January 2011, compared with around 20 minutes for those in Poland and Italy. 

46% of UK internet users said they used their phones to go online in October 2011, higher than in all the other countries surveyed. 

Plus over a quarter (27%) of those in the UK said they watched TV online every week, an increase of 3% from 2010, again higher than any of the other countries surveyed largely due to strong catch-up offerings from the BBC and Channel 4.

Despite this growing uptake of digital media technologies, TV viewing in the UK increased by 7.6% in 2010 compared with 2009, with the average person watching just over 4 hours of TV per day. This was the highest increase year-on-year among the countries surveyed, and 31 minutes more than the average of 211 minutes per person.

Ofcom's study considers take-up, availability and use of broadband, landlines, mobile, TV and radio in 17 countries based on 6,102 interviews with internet users, and was completed in October 2011.

Vikki Chowney

Published 14 December, 2011 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

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