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UK Internauts are a nation of window shoppers who like nothing better than indulging in a spot of online retail therapy, according to the latest stats from NetValue.

The research outfit reports that, in May, the UK had the highest percentage of home Net users visiting an e-commerce Web site.

Some 76 per cent of all UK home Internet users visited an e-tailing site, with 42 per cent going on to make a secure connection on a site.

NetValue can't guarantee that this 42 per cent went on to make a purchase, but maintains it is a good indication that people are exchanging confidential information used when trading online.

The US - by far the world's biggest online nation - is just a smidgen behind with 74 per cent of its home users visiting an e-commerce site.

However, US users are far less likely to make a purchase, it seems, with just 28.8 per cent going on to make a secure connection.

NetValue claims European nations did even worse showing that high Net penetration is not necessarily a guide to e-tailing habits.

For although Sweden and Denmark have the largest proportion of households online (57.6 per cent of Swedish households and 55.5 per cent of Danish households are hooked up to the Net) Swedes and Danes are least likely to shop online.

Just 8 per cent of Danish visitors and 7 per cent of Swedish visitors to an e-commerce Web site actually entered a secure area of the site, NetValue reported.

In contrast, only 38 per cent of the UK population has Net access at home. ®

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