Online shopping is on the march, says expert

Small Business Advice 24 December 2013

The UK retail industry currently finds itself in the midst of a mini revolution, with the online sector gradually overtaking the traditional high street as the dominant force.

Increasingly, consumers are of the view that shopping online is the preferred option, in part because they will not be dictated to by traditional opening and closing times, and also because it is significantly less time-consuming than the alternative.

What’s more, there is growing trust in online payment methods, which until recently, many consumers have been cautious of using.

This trend has been highlighted by Kate Davies, the Statistician for Retail Sales at the Office for National Statistics, in a recent report for the BBC.

She explained that the migration towards the online sphere is one of the most compelling stories to come out of retail figures over recent years.

“So what have the figures been telling us? A good example in recent years has been how shoppers’ habits have changed since the emergence of online retailing.”

She added, “The online sector has seen significant growth, doubling its share of the market in the past five years. By October 2013, it accounted for around ten per cent of all retail sales in Britain with an average weekly spend of just over £650 million.”

The rise of online spending has had a dramatic impact on the UK high street, with a number of high-profile retail firms being put out of business.

This has forced firms to reconsider their approach, becoming aware that consumers are no longer forced to shop in-store.

Earlier this month, a report revealed that Brits intend to spend 12 per cent more on their online Christmas shopping this year than was the case last year.

The study said that £1 in every £3 spent this festive season will be done over the internet.

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