Britons 'are keenest online shoppers'

If you've dared to venture to any of our nation's fine shopping malls over the last couple of weeks you may well have taken one look at the massive crowds of Christmas shoppers and dashed home to order all your presents online instead.

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And you wouldn't be the only one, because a new report has revealed that Britons are the most enthusiastic internet shoppers of all the major nations - with a whopping 79 per cent of web users buying something online comapred to just 27 per cent of Italians.

Produced by communications watchdog Ofcom, the report also highlighted use of the web via smartphones and to watch movies (although possibly not at the same time).

The body's sixth annual International Communications Market report found that smartphone ownership had almost doubled in the UK between February 2010 and August 2011 - as devices made it easier and more practical to view the web on mobile.

In fact almost half (46 per cent) of British internet users had used a phone to go online in October 2011.

In contrast only 35 per cent of the French and 32 per cent of the Germans have smartphones.

In January 2011 almost nine out of 10 web users in the UK looked at shopping websites, spending an average of 84 minutes on them - compared to 20 minutes for the Polish and Italians.

What do you reckon on online shopping? Better than the real thing? Comment below...