British consumers’ intent to buy e-books online has tripled since 2011, according to Nielsen’s Global Survey of e-commerce.
The data company also found that British consumers are almost 40% more likely to buy items online than Europeans as a whole.
In data released today (25th September) Nielsen said that between 2011 and 2014, the number of UK respondents who intended to buy e-books online in the next six months increased 200%.
Over the next six months books are set to be purchased online by four in every 10 people in the Britain.
Six in 10 (59%) people in the UK said they can usually get the best price online for a product, while more than four in 10 (43%) said they often check out products in a shop before buying online – a practice known as "showrooming". Nielsen said this was most likely to happen for books, holidays, pet products and clothing, shoes or accessories.
Half of Britons said they spent a lot of time researching online before buying and 54% read online reviews beforehand. Nearly one in five (18%) Britons use social media to help make purchase decisions – although this is almost half the European average (33%).
Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “The way people navigate between shops and the internet to buy isn’t consistent.
“For some, the internet is simply the checkout, for others it plays a fundamental role in what to buy, from whom and whether to do so online or in-store. For the same person, this behaviour could differ between products. The proliferation of devices simply adds to the complexity.
“Have shopping habits changed forever? Will people still make shopping trips? Will they buy everything in one go or shop throughout the day, one or two items at a time, shifting between retailers? This is what we’re dedicated to uncovering.”
Watkins said to fully realize e-commerce’s true potential, retailers needed more reassuring security features, should consider free delivery, and have websites that have easier navigation and clearer presentation.
The Nielsen Global Survey of e-commerce polled more than 30,000 internet respondents in 60 countries.