UK consumers spend 25% of their disposable income online, according to a new report from WorldPay.

This is the highest percentage among European nations and is 2% more than the average US consumer.

WorldPay’s Global Online Shopper Report found that the top three online spending categories for UK consumers are clothes (36%), food (33%) and money spent with department stores (33%).

The report suggests that online spending is driven by younger shoppers, primarily in their 20s, buying clothes, sports gear and software downloads.

Women in their mid-40s are the second highest spenders, but they are more likely to buy financial products or items from department stores.

Annual online spend as a percentage of disposable income

UK shoppers were also found to be more likely to abandon a purchase if presented with hidden charges at the checkout (61%) compared to the global average (56%).

Looking more closely at abandonment, 37% of respondents said it is because they are ‘just browsing’ when loading up their basket and 30% said it was because they found a better price elsewhere.

While sometimes preventing cart abandonment is impossible, there are steps that e-tailers can take to make the process more convenient and reduce the number of people cancelling their purchases.

ASOS is a great example of a user-friendly checkout process, and you can also read Econsultancy’s Checkout Optimisation Guide to find 70 ways to increase conversion rates.

WorldPay’s report also looked at how UK consumers use mobile commerce.

The results show that though smartphone penetration is 48%, only 14% buy online using their device.

While these stats are comparable to the global average, WorldPay found that Chinese (46%) and Indian (40%) respondents were far more likely buy online using a smartphone.

Finally, the report found that 16% of respondents have experienced online fraud and 53% have concerns about security.

WorldPay surveyed 19,000 global consumers during January and February 2012, including 1,000 UK respondents.

David Moth

Published 25 April, 2012 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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