In Brief

Britons spend more online than anyone else in world

UK households spend £4,600 on the internet, with the biggest share going on entertainment

British shoppers spend more online than anyone else in the world, new data from the UK Cards Association reveals.

"UK households spent the equivalent of $5,900 (£4,611) using payment cards online in 2015, the UK Cards Association said. This was higher than Norway ($5,400), the US ($4,500) and Australia ($4,000)," says the BBC.

Overall card spending online in the UK reached £154bn in 2015, averaging £422m a day - an increase of 28 per cent since 2014, according to Sky News.

"Entertainment, like cinema and concert tickets, takeaway orders and music downloads" took the lion's share of spending, adds the BBC, accounting for around one in four purchases.

The broadcaster adds: "The popularity of renewing contracts such as insurance cover online, and payments into bank accounts over the internet also meant financial services registered considerable activity online."

Overall more than a quarter of all card spending was online last year, the figures show.

The internet shopping revolution has benefitted the likes of Amazon, which has built a big global brand through its pioneering moves into a wide range of sectors, and is helping larger retailers such as supermarkets retain customers.

Smaller firms are also using the internet to reach new customers, but those heavily based on a physical store presence are struggling and the high street is in general in decline.

Consumer analysts Savvy Marketing told the BBC there are particular pressures for clothing retailers, who have to contend with the costs of a high number of returns from online shoppers.

It "found that among 1,000 online shoppers questioned, women's clothing had been returned by 63% of them".

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