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UK Consumers Spend Big Online

With online card usage doubling, consumer spending in the U.K. is shifting gears to become more online centric.

The shift comes with declining in-store spending, which stood at £31.1B ($4.61 billion USD) in January. At the same time, the online card-spending rose to 30 percent equating to £15.4 billion ($22.83 billion USD) spent using cards by customers in the U.K., according to data published by the UK Cards Association.

The total online card transactions equated to 12.3 percent or 118 million of the 1,054 million card payments in the U.K. The data also revealed a consumer tendency to spend as much as twice when shopping online with the average online transaction value standing at £96.10 ($142.51 USD), whereas, a customer only spent £46.53 ($69.01 USD) in a traditional brick-and-mortar store.

However, the increased online spending doesn’t quite relate to a credit card shopping frenzy as many may think. Over 76.7 percent or 809 million transactions were processed using a debit card. Whereas, the number of credit card transactions stood at 245 million.

Showing signs of growth, consumers in the U.K. spent £34.3 billion ($50.87 billion USD) using debit cards and £14.5 billion ($21.5 billion USD) using credit cards. The increase in spending was best observed in the food and drink business with the total spend reaching £9.0 billion ($13.35 billion USD). Courtesy of falling gas prices, the automotive fuel category stood on the lower end of the spectrum with a spending decline of £26 million ($38.5 million USD) to £2.7 billion ($4 billion USD). The report found the entertainment sector to be a strong contributor to growth with an increase of £30 million ($44.5 million) in spending, bringing the total to £4.1 billion ($6 billion USD).

Meanwhile, the U.K. market continued its ride on a downward slope of average transaction value (ATV). With a fall of 27 percent observed in January, the ATV fell by £1.87 ($2.77 USD) over the year, to reach £46.53 ($69 USD).

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