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Why the UK has fallen for online shopping

shutterstock_278668727It’s official, the UK has well and truly fallen for online shopping. It’s quick, it’s easy, we have access to a greater range of products and although we might not care to admit it, we’re all guilty of doing it to pass the time at work.

Online shopping is so big that is has changed the shape of business and household expenditure. From how we shop to where we shop and what we shop for, be that a new pair of jeans, jewellery, household appliances to name just a few, there’s a stark contrast between now and 10 years ago.

Online shopping statistics

 Over the Christmas period alone in 2015, UK retailers generated a whopping £24bn in online sales. What’s more, according to figures from IMRG and Capgemini, us Brits spent an eye-watering £114 billion shopping online throughout the course of the year.

The IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index estimates that 27% of all retail sales now take place online and this is expected to grow by a further 11% by the end of 2016.

Alex Smith-Bingham, Head of digital at Capgemini commented:

“2015 was a massive year in terms of consumer spending but what the index reveals is just how dominant the online channels have become. We also saw mobile confirm its role as a primary shopping channel, providing customers with an unprecedented level of convenience. I’m confident we’ll see this influence increase even further with mobile representing over half of all sales made online in 2016.”

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that year-on-year, men consistently spend more online than women do. This may seem surprising initially but the reason could be because typically, men dislike shopping more than women do so buying something online is preferable to physically going out to a shop.

Between 2008 and 2015, both men and women have increased their Internet spending. The number of men buying products online has increased from 57% to 77% and women’s expenditure has risen from 49% to 75%.

Why do we love online shopping so much?
shutterstock_329739470Convenience – naturally, the biggest draw to online shopping is its convenience. No matter where you are or what time of day it is, you can buy absolutely anything you want and you don’t even have to leave the house or queue up to make your purchase.

Lower prices – online retailers generally have fewer overheads than high street retailers and they can often pass these savings on to the customer. As well as this, it’s much easier to shop around on your laptop than it is to physically go from shop-to-shop looking for the best deal.

Variety – there’s only so much that a shop can stack on its shelves whereas online retailers often have huge warehouses full of the products they’re selling. This means that they can offer a much larger selection of colours, sizes and products. Even if the first website you look at doesn’t have what you want, there are usually multiple other sites that do have it.

International shopping – another huge benefit of online shopping is the fact that you can buy international products that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to purchase unless you’re willing to fork out for the price of a plane ticket. Even if you’re buying something from the UK, online shopping saves you the expense of petrol and parking.