News and press releases

  • Royal Mail
    11 May 2018
    Over A Quarter Of Brits Shop Online Once A Week
  • 26% of Brits are weekly online shoppers. Two-thirds (68%) shop online at least once a month and 3% shop online every day
  • Consumers spent £220, on average, over a three month period on online shopping, compared to £205 this time last year and £199 last quarter
  • 23% have returned an item in the last month, compared to 17% the year before

Over a quarter (26%) of Brits are now shopping online once a week, compared to 22% last year. Two-thirds (68%) shop online at least once a month and 3% shop online every day.

Consumers are spending more in comparison to last year with the average Brit spending £220 in total on online shopping over a three month period. This compares to £205 in the same period last year (January – March 2017) and £199 the previous quarter (October – December 2017). 

Membership of delivery subscription schemes (e.g. Amazon Prime) continues to rise, suggesting the increased popularity of these goes beyond a Christmas boost. Almost three in ten Brits (28%) now use a delivery subscription scheme, a rise compared to 20% in the quarter of April – June 2017. 18-24 year olds are the age group most likely to have a delivery subscription (40%), followed by 25-34 year olds (37%) and 35-44 year olds (35%). 27% of 16-17 year olds are members of a delivery subscription. 

The trend of returning items continues to grow at pace with almost a quarter (23%) of Brits returning an item in the last month, compared to 17% in the same period last year. 27% of female Brits returned an item in the last month, compared to 18% of men. 

A spokesperson for Royal Mail Parcels said“Online shopping shows no sign of slowing down and those who are shopping are spending more than ever. Consumers are looking for convenience and delivery subscriptions are providing this. Retailers need to ensure they’re responding to consumer demand or they risk being left behind. With the emergence of try-before-you-buy schemes for consumers, returns will continue to rise and retailers must have a simple returns process in place to respond to this. By selecting high quality, great value services from Royal Mail, online retailers can set themselves up for success.” 


For journalist enquiries contact:

Jasmin Prichard, Royal Mail press office


Royal Mail press office: 020 7449 8246 

Note to editors

  1. Excludes groceries and larger items, such as furniture.
  2. The research was conducted by Ipsos MORI and based on a sample of 3,000 UK consumers aged 16+ per month, over a three month period. Fieldwork dates: 10th - 30th January 2018, 6th - 23rd February 2018, 2nd - 22nd March 2018.

About Royal Mail plc

Royal Mail plc is the parent company of Royal Mail Group Limited, the leading provider of postal and delivery services in the UK and the UK’s designated universal postal service provider. UK Parcels, International and Letters (“UKPIL”) comprises the company’s UK and international parcels and letters delivery businesses operating under the “Royal Mail” and “Parcelforce Worldwide” brands. Through the Royal Mail Core Network, the company delivers a one-price-goes-anywhere service on a range of parcels and letters products. Royal Mail has the capability to deliver to around 30 million addresses in the UK, six days a week (excluding UK public holidays). Parcelforce Worldwide operates a separate UK network which collects and delivers express parcels. Royal Mail also owns General Logistics Systems (GLS) which operates one of the largest ground-based, deferred parcel delivery networks in Europe.