UK internet businesses are powering up for significant expansion over the next five years, research published today has predicted.
According to a YouGov poll of 2,000 consumers, the vast majority see the internet as a growing channel for purchasing goods and financial services.
The survey, commissioned by Direct Line, found that the number of individuals shopping online has trebled in the past five years. In 1999 only 37 per cent of respondents had bought anything online, compared with 94 per cent currently.
Almost three-quarters said that their internet usage has 'massively increased' over the past five years, including 77 per cent of men who were found to be generally more frequent internet users than women.
Looking to the future, the research revealed that consumers expect growth to continue with key findings showing half of the respondents believing that 40 per cent or more of their purchases will be online in five years' time compared to 25 per cent now.
Almost 60 per cent of respondents believe that their internet usage will continue to rise steadily over the coming five years, while 23 per cent believe their internet usage will dramatically increase in the next five years.
In addition, the research revealed that 67 per cent of respondents are surprised by how much they use the internet now compared to five years ago, including 71 per cent of women.
The Scots were found to buy more clothes online than any other region and more financial services than the national average. Londoners buy more of everything online than the national average.
Justin Skinner, e-commerce spokesman at Direct Line, said: "This research shows that the internet continues to go from strength to strength and, as more consumers trust purchasing online, the financial services market is set to increase dramatically."
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