People spend more time shopping online than socialising

We seem to be getting sadder and sadder!

• New study reveals we spend 16 hours a week, or 832 hours a year, researching things to buy online
• 1 in 3 people suffer from ‘shopper’s anxiety’ due to overwhelming amount of choice
• A third of UK consumers reveal they can’t stop researching products even after they’ve gone to bed
A new study into online shopping habits by Meraki Travel found people in the UK now spend more time researching things to buy online than they do socialising with friends, cooking, exercising and even watching TV.

On average, UK shoppers spend 16 hours a week reviewing different products they’re looking to buy, which equates to a staggering 832 hours a year, or almost five weeks back-to-back. Comparatively, respondents say they spend just five hours each week socialising with friends, six hours a week cooking, and 15 hours a week on average watching TV.

The Choice Paradox

When shopping online, UK consumers face an unprecedented amount of choice. The sheer volume of options, reviews and recommendations to process makes it harder to make a decision, which could explain why we’re now spending more of our time than ever researching things to buy online.

Well over a third of UK shoppers (40%) feel there is too much choice online – 37% say it makes them feel overwhelmed, one in five (21%) regularly return items they’ve bought online because they think they made the wrong choice, and almost a third (29%) claim they’ve actually given up buying something because there was an impossible amount of choice to wade through.

Almost half of millennials (42%) admit they research stuff to buy online every day. A third of Brits (31%) admit they could be addicted to online shopping because there’s a never-ending stream of options, and one in three (31%) reveal they can’t stop researching products even after they’ve gone to bed.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Four out of five of people in the UK (81%) now research and book their holidays online, so to pinpoint just how much choice UK holidaymakers have to process when booking their holiday, Meraki calculated how long it would take to read every article online about ‘things to do’ in different cities around the world. In London alone, there are more than 1.1 billion articles, which would take a staggering 4,350 years to read.

Add to this the seemingly infinite number of reviews and the minefield of different destinations to consider, and it’s easy to see why it takes a third of us (36%) at least two weeks to research options, one in four of us (22%) take more than a month, and one in 20 spend at least six months researching and comparing possible holidays before feeling ready to book.

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