A new report has identified the UK as the world leader in e-commerce.
Robust broadband and mobile networks, widespread adoption of smartphones and the UK’s love of shopping have combined to give the UK the highest level of consumer expenditure in the world, at nearly £2,000 per head, the report says.
This is two-thirds more than the level of e-commerce spending in the US, home to Silicon Valley’s technology giants, and more than twice the level in other advanced economies such as France, Germany, Japan and South Korea.
The Digital UK 2015 report, produced by Enders Analysis in collaboration with EY, also identifies the UK as a global digital leader across of a range of other measures. The key points include:
- Ecommerce sales to consumers and businesses exceed £556 billion, or 20% of non-financial business turnover
- Fixed-line broadband connection speeds now average 23Mbps, according to Ofcom
- High-speed broadband accounted for one-third of all connections by the end of 2014, far ahead of France and Germany
- By 2020, 45 million Britons are forecast to be using mobile broadband
- With digital revenues of £7.5 billion, the UK has become the largest advertising market in Europe
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: “I am delighted to see that the UK is making such good progress in embracing the technologies that will underpin this country’s future economic prosperity. This is the result of hard work and enterprise by a diverse range of British companies. The UK is firmly open for digital business; our digital economy is already one of the strongest markets in the world, valued at more than £100 billion.
The Digital UK 2015 report also highlights how the UK is at the forefront of adopting the internet of things, the smart home and the “smarter me”. Digital is driving an industrial transformation of many enterprises due to the harnessing of data, according to the report.
Claire Enders, CEO of Enders Analysis, said: “Without doubt the United Kingdom is a leader among the world’s digital economies. We have a particular strength in e-commerce, but our fast internet connections and rapid 4G rollout also make us among the world’s most digitally advanced economies. With our strengths in content production, online marketing and advertising and creative digital know-how, the UK is becoming the studio of the world – on a par with Florence during the Renaissance.”