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Non-grocery web purchases up three per cent

Half of UK adults now shop online

Almost half the adult population now shops online, research has found.

According to new data from the British Population Survey, 48.7 per cent of adults made purchases over the internet during the last quarter of 2009, compared to 45.4 per cent over the same period of 2008. 47.5 per cent ordered non-grocery items online – up from 44.1 per cent year-on-year.

54.5 per cent searched online for information on products or services they were considering buying, up from 52.7 per cent in 2008.

These rises follow an overall increase in the percentage of people across the UK with access to the internet, which now stands at 73.9 per cent of the adult population (up from 70.1 per cent in Q4 2008).

The age group with whom online shopping proved most popular was those aged 45 to 54, 58.6 per cent of whom purchased goods over the internet.

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