GBP100 bn was spent online with Visa at UK-based merchants in the year to August 2013, equating to GBP3,170 being spent every second. This is according to figures from Visa Europe who also reveal that GBP1 in every GBP4 of all spend with Visa at UK merchants is now spent online.
E-commerce is exploding, with UK merchants attracting spend from well beyond the country’s borders with almost a fifth of e-commerce spend from outside the UK. International spend with Visa at UK merchants totalled GBP16bn, with GBP7bn of that spend from outside Europe. The top five international spenders were: the USA at number one, Italy at number two, and France, Japan and Germany at three, four and five respectively.
Total annual online spend with Visa at UK merchants has doubled in four years: in 2009 GBP50.2bn was spent online with UK merchants, a total that was surpassed in the first six months alone in 2013 (GBP52bn).
UK consumers are leading the world when it comes to online spend. In February 2013, Ofcom announced in a report that internet shopping is now more popular in the UK than any other major country, as consumers in the UK spend an average of GBP1,083 a year on internet shopping compared to just GBP842 in Australia (the second highest country studied). Fuelling this uptake is UK consumers’ high adoption rates of smartphones and tablets.
Visa Europe is developing products and services that will help merchants to tap into the burgeoning opportunities that e-commerce present. Leading this response is the development of V.me by Visa, its digital wallet which a range of merchants and banks have already signed up to.
Marc O’Brien, Managing Director at Visa UK said: “In just four years we have seen online spending at UK clothing merchants with Visa nearly double in growth from GBP1 in £7 in 2009, to GBP1 in GBP4 in 2013. In fact, online spending with Visa is now at an unprecedented scale across all sectors including airlines, supermarkets and services, indicative of the ever increasing preference to make purchases online, largely fuelled by the explosion in smartphones and tablets.
“At Visa Europe, we are enabling merchants to take advantage of the possibilities that e-commerce present by making sure that online spend is safe, through Verified by Visa, and convenient through the introduction of V.me by Visa, our digital wallet. Wherever customers are based, no matter what they buy, we are working with merchants to make sure that their customers have the best quality, safest and most convenient online spending experience.”
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