Online shoppers are projected to spend more than ever in 2016, with sales expected to surpass the £5.8bn spent online in December 2015, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Online sales are not just for younger people, however, as a new report shows that British seniors are the most tech-savvy in Europe, with 78 per cent of internet users aged 65 and over currently shopping online.

The proportion of silver surfers who shop on the web is 13 percentage points higher in the UK than in Germany and 53 percentage points higher when compared to Italian pensioners.

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The study of global shopping habits, conducted by the EMEA research team at Colliers International, reported that the UK’s 65 and overs are not far behind younger demographics when it comes to using the internet, with the proportion only 17 percentage points less than the 93 per cent of all adults who are active online.

Dutch and Swedish seniors are more comfortable online in general, however, with 81 per cent and 77 per cent of over 65s recorded as active internet users – compared to three quarters of older Brits.

The report also finds that the UK has the largest European e-commerce industry, with online sales averaging £130bn annually.

As much as 29 per cent of all online shopping in the UK is conducted on mobile, making the number of consumers buying Christmas gifts on their phone the highest in Europe, out of countries surveyed for the report.

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Paul Souber, Colliers’ Head of EMEA Retail, said: “In a globalised age, it can be natural to think that shopping is becoming an increasingly homogenised process. However, as this study shows, the ways in which people shop and pay for their shopping remains very diverse – and often surprising.

“The UK, US, China and Germany are the biggest online export markets globally. By 2020, 45 per cent of online shoppers will buy from other countries. The value of cross-border sales is expected to increase from US$230 billion in 2014 to US$1 trillion by 2020.”

When British shoppers do step away from their devices, the report also found that consumers prefer to shop for groceries in smaller stores, in a rejection of larger out-of-town supermarkets.

This article was originally published on the Telegraph. Read the original article.

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