Monday 24 May 2021 4:30 pm

UK is the most digitally advanced country in Europe

The UK is the most digitally advanced country in Europe after the pandemic accelerated digital adoption, new research shows. 

A survey of more than 20,000 European citizens by McKinsey reveals 86 per cent of the UK has used ecommerce or online services in the past six months. 

Some 7m Brits have accessed new digital services since Christmas, especially in grocery and education as a result of the pandemic, with 43m digital users in total this year. 

The research shows fully digital is the preferred channel across industries except for groceries, with 48 per cent of users not going online for their shops. 

Digital growth has plateaued across Europe in the past six months and may begin to slip back once the pandemic is over, McKinsey predicts. Indeed, the survey shows over 9m Brits expect to return to physical stores once the pandemic is over. 

“With consumers having reached high levels of digital penetration in most regions and industries, the acceleration into digital channels now seems to have leveled off in both Europe and the United States,” McKinsey said. 

“As a result, even as total digital adoption remains above pre-pandemic levels, many industries and regions may see a modest negative net change in post-pandemic digital use relative to 2020.” 

While the new digital user seems to be younger and wealthier, in the UK 35-44 year olds plan to use fewer digital services after the pandemic with data handling cited as the main reason for distrust across industries. 

Entertainment is the least trusted industry, despite an influx of new users over the pandemic, while banking comes out top.