Bargain reports and analytics

Online shopping in the UK

PicodiMarch 18, 2019

Interesting facts about the shopping habits of British internet users

Although there is no denying that online shopping has brought much convenience to people’s lives, the issue poses a great challenge for retailers as there is a number of points to consider. What kind of devices do Brits use to shop online? How much money do they spend? How does the shopping activity change across the year? Is online shopping more popular among men or women? To look for answers, analysed last year’s data and presented the results in this report.

Smartphones on the rise

Mobile commerce is booming globally and it turns out British people joined the trend. According to our internal data, almost half (48%) of transactions were made with the use of a mobile device last year.

When Brits did shopping with the use of a phone, the average order value was £43. It’s about £15 less than when using desktops (£58) and £11 more when using tablets (£32). iOS users spend more than Android users — £47 vs £41 on average.

The important question is who shops online more — men or women? Our data shows that there were more purchases made by British women than those made by men. The difference is not that significant though; 51% and 49% respectively.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the young generation that prefers online shopping. 37% of all online shoppers are people between the ages of 25 and 34. They’re followed by people aged 35-44 (23%) and 18-24% (14%). The remaining 26% are consumers who are over 45 years old.

Shopping habits of British internet users

Busy end of the year

According to our research, the average order value of aBritish shopper is the highest in January(£70), followed by December and February (£61 and £52 accordingly).

Compared to that, the average order value of a moderate £44 in November might come as a surprise. After all, that’s when Black Friday takes place. The answer is rather easy. Even though their baskets are smaller during that time, Brits shop in a number of different online stores and place more orders. So if you look at the shopping activity, it turns out November has the highest number of transactions — more than one-fourth (26.6%) of all the transactions made during the year.

The second busiest month when it comes to the number of transactions was December (21.3%), followed by October (11.4%). Christmas shoppers might have greatly contributed to such a high number in these months. The lowest number of transactions was noted in March (2.5%) with the average order value amounting to £24.

Consumers in the United Kingdom shop the most on Friday. Mobile users’ shopping activity increases also on Monday. British people prefer to shop in the afternoon: the peak of sales occurs at 2 PM for desktops and 5 PM for mobile devices.

The most popular categories for online shopping among British people were: clothing, home & garden, travel, food on delivery and cosmetics.

Online shoppers around the world

How people around the world shop online?

We analysed data from 35 countries and compared the devices people use to shop online and the average order value. The United Kingdom, with 48% of their orders made on mobile devices, is among the countries where mobile shopping is on the rise. Peru tops the ranking with 76% of online purchases made with the use of smartphones. Close behind are Nigeria and Thailand (62% and 56%).

When it comes to the average order value, Brits with their €55 (£48) rank lower than the world’s average, which is €69. Emiratis spent the most money per order — astonishing €192. And it looks like Hungarians and Turks don’t like to spend a lot in one go. They are at the bottom of the ranking with €28 and €33 respectively.

Online shopping in numbers:

  • 48% of transactions were made on a mobile device last year,
  • there were more purchases made by women than by men (51% vs 49%),
  • 37% of all online shoppers are people between the ages of 25 and 34,
  • the average order value in the UK is the highest in January (£70),
  • the highest number of transactions was noted in November — 26.6% of all annual transactions,
  • clothing, home & garden and travel are the top 3 categories for online shopping


This report uses the internal data of a global e-commerce platform for 2018. For currency conversion, we used the average exchange rate for March 2019.

Public Use

Are you willing to share the information and infographics about shopping online in the UK with your readers? Feel free to use all the data and infographics presented in this report for both commercial and non-commercial purposes as long as you indicate the author of the research ( with a link to this subpage.