According to a new report from the Boston Consulting Group, the relative size of the UK's "internet economy" is greater than that of any other G20 country. The internet's contribution to the country's 2010 GDP (the sum of all the goods and services it produced that year) reached 8.3 percent; nearly double the G20 average of 4.3 percent, and well above the 4.7 percent posted by the number five nation — the USA.

What accounted for the UK's high numbers? According to BCG, the high number of credit cards in use, widespread internet access, advanced delivery infrastructure, and aggressive competition at retail provided the perfect environment for net-based commerce to flourish. Consumption is a big driver of the internet economy everywhere, but particularly so in the UK, where 13.5 percent of all retail purchases were done online, and a further 11.5 percent were researched online before being purchased at a brick-and-mortar store. BCG notes that these figures are only going to grow — UK online retail is expected to nearly double to 23 percent by 2016.

Image credit: Shutterstock