In the UK, Gen X Spends the Most Time Shopping Online

Gen Xers, not millennials, are the biggest browsers

Author: Cliff Annicelli

September 12, 2017

One might assume that ecommerce browsing in the UK is dominated by smartphone-toting millennials. But that would be wrong

According to a study conducted in June by Opinium Research LLP on behalf of Barclays Bank, the country's longest browsing digital shoppers are older and more PC-centric than one might expect.

It found that Gen Xers ages 45 to 54 spent the most time on average per week browsing for potential ecommerce purchases at 100.3 minutes. That compared with an average of 89.4 minutes for all respondents ages 18 and older.

Shoppers ages 45 to 54 also go on to buy a higher than average share of products saved to the digital shopping carts, pulling the trigger on 35.9% of what they place there.

Personal laptop computers were the most popular device for online shopping among all respondents combined. Forty-five percent of those polled browsed the most on a laptop, followed by smartphones (31%), tablets (28%) and personal desktop computers (26%).

Respondents have have been less than forthcoming regarding their digital shopping habits while on the clock; work computers were cited by just 5% of respondents as their most used device for online shopping.

Truer to stereotype, however, nearly two-thirds (64%) of millennial respondents ages 18 to 24 conducted most of their digital shopping via smartphones, the study found.

Digital shopping has become a ubiquitous behavior among UK internet users. eMarketer predicts that 94.0% of the country's internet users ages 14 and older—45.2 million consumers—will be digital shoppers this year. In addition, 95.0% of digital shoppers in the UK will go on to make an online purchase sometime this year.

Retail ecommerce sales will total $110.07 billion (£81.56 billion) in the UK in 2017, a 14.5% bump from 2016, eMarketer estimates.