More UK shoppers let their fingers do the buying - 27th May 2017

Online shoppers in the UK spend more per household than consumers in any other country, a recent survey has revealed.

UK households spent the equivalent of $5,900 (£4,611) using payment cards online in 2015, the UK Cards Association said – that’s higher than the US ($4,500) and Australia ($4,000).

Entertainment - such as cinema tickets, food takeaways and music downloads - accounted for one in four online card purchases while the popularity of renewing contracts such as insurance cover online also means financial services are enjoying a boost.

However, not all sectors are benefiting as attempts by online retailers to make a mark in the grocery sector have so far floundered compared to the use of cards in shops and supermarkets.

Our online habits are also having a damaging impact on traditional High Street retailers with Debenhams announcing that it will close up to 10 of its 176 UK stores over the next five years.

Many shoppers still fear that online shopping makes them a target for cyber-criminals, though the UK Cards Association argues that security is improving.

"Since the early days of internet shopping there has been a host of innovations, from digital wallets to one click purchases, which bring enhanced security and convenience for customers,” said Richard Koch, the association’s head of policy, who added that the additional protection provided when using a card gives consumers extra peace of mind when shopping online.

Also on the downside, concerns have also been raised over internet selling fueling a rise in shopping addiction, leading those affected into a spiral of debt.

A report by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute suggested that 24-hour online shopping meant “consumers who struggle to control their spending find themselves at greater risk than ever before”.

If you fear online shopping is taking up increasing amounts of your time, here are our top tips:

  • Unsubscribe from every promotional email you receive, especially coupon, flash sale and auction sites, which are some of the most addictive shopping experiences;
  • Delete shopping apps from mobile devices as there is little opportunity to contemplate purchases, and the trigger for the addiction is right at your fingertips – it often takes just one or two clicks to complete a sale;
  • Instead of relying on retail therapy to lift your mood, teach your brain to seek out a different experience - exercise, call a friend, read a book or volunteer for a charity.

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SW&A Accountants launches it's new website in March 2013 - it's been a long time in the making and has had a lot of input from the owners Neil and Andrew - Andrew says " the website was designed to showcase our services in a lively and informative manner " ...

Our company intends to ensure that our new website become not only a hub of activity but also somewhere as a useful source of information for our current and prospective clients. Neil stated '"it is my intention to use the website as a tool to communicate with out clients; this is something we will grow over the coming years to incorporate our informative blogs, news and social media work."

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