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UK European Consumer Centre

UK consumers are amongst the savviest e-shoppers

Human arms holding up the letters to spell out consumerUK consumers are the most confident online shoppers in the EU and amongst the savviest about their EU consumer rights, according to the latest data published by the European Commission. 


In 2016, nearly 87.6% of UK shoppers bought domestic goods or services online (EU: 72%) and 77% made purchases from across EU borders, with an average spend of €432 (£380) over a three month period (EU: €162 (£142).


The high volumes of e-shopping in the UK is supported by high levels of trust consumers have in a number of areas, including non-food product safety which stands at 94%, public authorities 84%, retailers/service providers 86% and NGOs 86%. UK consumers also recorded the second highest level of trust for environmental claims (77%). Conversely, UK e-shoppers were exposed to the least amount of illicit commercial practices: only 2% compared to nearly 24% in Croatia.


Awareness of EU consumers' rights is slightly higher in the UK (55%) than the EU average (49%), but online shoppers in Slovakia are the most aware (59.7 %). 


Whilst the level of knowledge is on an upward trend across the EU, raising awareness of consumer rights still remains a priority and the Commission has already started work on updating EU consumer rules to ensure they fit for purpose in the digital age.


Confidence in online shopping varies widely between EU countries with Portuguese shoppers amongst the least confident.  Fewer than 41% of them made a domestic online purchase and around 34% purchased from another EU country in 2016.


However, more EU consumers are shopping online than ever before, with cross-border sales increasing nearly twice as fast as domestic purchasing, according to the 2017 Consumer Condition Scoreboard.


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