It’s been 20 years since the first online shop opened in the UK. Today, 45% of British shoppers prefer buying their items online. Online shopping became an instant hit in the UK after Ten Summoner’s Tale; an audio album became the first item to be sold online. In 2015, UK shopper spent a total of £91 billion, and it has been anticipated that the figure will cross £100 billion by December 2016. It has been anticipated that British online shoppers will still increase come 2017.
Several factors have been identified as being responsible for this trend. One is the increasing affordability of smart devices such as tablets. A survey conducted on UK shoppers revealed that 20% of smart device owners shop online using their smartphones and tablets. Another 25% acknowledged shopping while commuting to work in the morning.
Increasing internet connectivity is yet another reason why online shopping in Britain has risen. Until 1994, internet connectivity was so slow that loading an image took forever, let alone processing online payments. But all that changed now, with the introduction of third generation connectivity changing online shopping for good forever.
Some experts are of the opinion that the growing dissatisfaction among in-store shoppers has also been responsible for the shift away from in-store shopping among UK shoppers. Customers who shop online from their favorite brand may end up being completely dissatisfied when they shop in-store. Unlike in-store shopping, online shopping allow customers to share their personal experience –good or bad. Everybody loves being heard.
Online shopping in more ways than one, benefit retailers. When a customer visits an online store, it is easy for the retailer to easily tell what the customer is looking for. This is because the customer’s preference, past purchases etc. can be easily retried, hence making it easy for a retailer to offer deals and suggest products. It is totally different story for in-store shopping.
Other reasons why Britons prefer shopping online
•Ease of comparing prices
Everybody loves a great deal, and British shoppers are in no way different. To get the best deal, most buyers will first spend a great deal of their time researching. This is one of the reasons why shopping online appears to be a natural preference due to the ease of researching a product online.
•It is easier for customers to find exactly what they are looking for when shopping online
At the click of a button, customers can easily find whatever they are looking for. This benefits retailers, as it makes it easier for them to offer better products to their customers.
•Absence of queues or crowds
In a digital era where things seem to be moving too fast, patience has become a scarce commodity. To satisfy their desire for speedy shopping; most customers often opt for online shopping. As an online retailer, it is important you find creative ways of satisfying this sense of urgency. Most importantly, your checkout page must be simple and compelling enough.
Online shopping offer great flexibility and this benefit alone has attracted online shoppers in their numbers. A customer can conveniently shop in the middle of the night when the urge to do so arises. This would have been difficult with in-store shopping.
•It is sometimes cheaper to shop online
With most retailers now offering free shipping, customers are beginning to worry less about shipping cost. Interestingly, many online shops have reduced their prices greatly in a bid to attract more customers. To a very large extent, this approach has worked, as more shoppers looking for great deal have found online shopping irresistible.
•The idea of shopping afield appear attractive to buyers
Unlike in-store shopping, geographical location has little effect on online shopping. A recent research has revealed that one in every five British online shoppers prefer buying their products from websites outside the UK. Alibaba, a Chinese based superstore has received high volume of traffic from UK shoppers. A clear indication that British shoppers love the idea of shopping afar right from the comfort of their homes.
Items British Shopper prefer buying online
Though literally every item can be bought online, statistics have shown that a greater percentage of British online shoppers shop for fashion materials online. The study further revealed that online shoppers, especially men within the age brackets of 26 and 35 spend an average of £900 each year on fashion materials. Experts predict that online shopping trend in Britain will continue to grow even in the coming years.