Online shopping is becoming increasingly more important in today’s convenience society.
Official figures from the e-retail industry’s IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) have shown that £68 billion was spent online in 2011- a 16% increase on 2010. £7.8 billion of that was spent in December alone.
Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini said: “During 2011 we saw continued pressure on sales as shoppers became savvier in looking for bargains… This changing landscape will open up a myriad of opportunity for retailers including the integration of stores into the multi-channel world and the potential of new capabilities like location based marketing services.”
The figures show that, within Britain’s approximate population of 61 million, 51 million are internet users and out of that, there are 32 million online shoppers (see pie chart below).
Research conducted into online shopping behaviour in the UK by website design software developers Basekit.com revealed that, on average, British consumers spend 2.4 hours a week shopping online compared to 1.2 hours on the high street. Even though the average time spent online is higher, on average around 8% more per person per month is spent on the high street.
More than six out of ten online shoppers surveyed said they do so for convenience and over half said it was also because you get better value for money on the internet.
CEO of IMRG James Roper said: “Despite the fact that consumers are finding themselves with less and less disposable income, the e-retail market keeps defying the general retail trend to record double-digit growth. Online is such an integral part of the shopping experience now that it generally plays at least some part in most purchases, whether through research and comparison or social media and product reviews.”
For 2012, IMRG has forecast that there will be 13% growth and approximately £77 billion in total e-retail sales, which Roper says may be lower than their 2011 estimate but still “extremely positive”, given the state of the economy. He says “it can offer a really key contribution to help drive the economic recovery.”
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