Online spending accounts for 20% of all customer purchases with credit and debit cards and is growing at 11% every year, a Barclaycard study has revealed. Moreover, Britons are expected to spend £107 billion on online purchases in 2014 – around £4,000 per household, said UK’s e-retail association IMRG.
The fastest-growing channel for online spending is music downloads. At the moment, 79% of all music is purchased online rather than in physical stores. Last year, music downloads went up by 124%. The bulk of online spending, however, is driven by airline tickets. Thanks to the thriving low-cost flight segment and electronic ticketing, airlines have come to account for 80% of all online purchases. Since the start of this year alone, the number of airline ticket purchases is already up by 5.6%.
Furthermore, online spending on music and entertainment doubled in 2013. Currently, 49% of all spending on concert tickets and other entertainment events is done online. For cinema and theatre the figure is even higher, at 59%, as more connoisseurs research films and plays online and book tickets in advance.
In the home maintenance and gardening segment consumers still seem to prefer to spend money in physical stores, but Barclaycard projects that the improving housing market will lead to a 37% increase in online spending on DIY and gardening this year.
According to Barclaycard managing director Chris Wood, one major driver behind the increase in online shopping is the growing use of mobile devices. Quoting IMRG figures, Wood said that almost half of visits to online shops and around 30% of all online sales are made via a smartphone or a tablet.