In its many forms – shopping is a universal feature for those who seek the necessities and luxuries of life. However the ways in which the UK shopper pay for their shopping remains diverse and surprising.

In a recent study by global retail property experts Colliers International, new research has shown how the British have embraced online retailing more then any other European country. As the rapid growth in online shopping continues to surge the shopping habits around the world remain far from uniform.

The emergence of new technologies has had a huge impact on shoppers and retailers across the globe with a sharp and increasing rise in cross-boarder transactions as the UK shopper grows gradually confident about shopping on foreign websites.

Paul Souber, Colliers’ Head of EMEA Retail, comments: “Changes to consumer spending capacity, consumer choices, demographic-urbanisation and the rapid accession of technological adaption are re-structuring shopping behavior.”

The real game changer for the retail sector is the expansion of mobile technology (M-commerce). Not only are mobile devices revolutionizing how we shop online but how we pay for purchases online and in store such as mobile payments like Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal Wallet and Square. In 2015, almost 29% of retail online transactions were carried out via mobile devices [Colliers].

Found in the UK is the largest European e-commerce market with online sales currently running at around £130bn annually. And while the UK emerges itself in the online retail world, other countries have been slower to move their shopping online.

Give a listen to this audio about peoples opinions on being tech-savvy:

The UK shopper has evolved in to the most active online shopper globally, attributing to one of the markets biggest spending power per capita in Europe. UK e-buyer’s like to shop from foreign websites particularly in the US and China as a strong 58% of buyers admitted to shopping ‘abroad’.

When it comes to in-store grocery shopping the British consumer prefers to shop in smaller stores. The departure of the Hypermarket has seen the influx of convenient stores such as Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local gain popularity and increase throughout the UK. The consumer also buy’s their groceries online more often then any other European country.

“Where people shop, what they’re buying, how they shop and even how they pay for things is all being influenced by technology and the internet in some way.” – Paul Souber, Colliers’ Head of EMEA Retail.

A high proportion of the British consumers disposable income is spent on enjoying themselves, almost 20% of the consumer spending on eating out and recreation. The British shopper is also the top international shopper, having Spain as their favored destination for shopping. They also like to shop on Italy, France and Ireland and the US.

The most surprising statistic found in the report was the silver surfer – British seniors are among the most tech-savvy consumers in the world. A whopping 78% of the British ‘silver surfers’ are shopping online. Occurring in developed countries the ageing society is a key influence to the global shopping habits.

The number of people over 65 years of age is set to increase from its 608 million to 1.5 billion in 2050. Over a period of time retailers will have refocus how they offer towards the increasingly important consumer group.

Listen here how O2 guru Billy explains the increase of older generation customers buying handsets and how they are more clued up on using the tech.

For the full details including consumer spending in countries such as The US, Netherlands, Poland and China – Check out the link here:

By Alexander Costello 

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