Verdict Research attributes the rise to factors such as internet shopping being both cheaper, and a more convenient way to shop. “Those with less money are turning to the internet to search out bargains on branded items like electrical” said Malcolm Pinkerton, author of the report and senior retail analyst at Verdict Research.
An increase in retailers offering free delivery is also encouraging consumers to spend,” With the likes of Play, Waitrose and Amazon offering gratis services, it is only a matter of time before the majority of retailers are forced to follow suit”.
Recovering Housing Market
Verdict also forecasts that as the economy and housing market gradually pick up, consumers will increasingly opt to make big ticket purchases online. According to Verdict retail analyst Matthew Piner “As shoppers have become more used to spending online, they are more likely to use this channel for big- ticket items when they are able to buy them again”.
Another trend identified in the report is the rise of credit cards behind online sales. Customers are often opting to use credit cards rather than debit cards to purchase goods safe in the knowledge that they have greater protection against fraud and any retailer that might go bust under the Consumer Credit Act.
Online Consumer Growth Slowing
Despite the increase in online sales, the number of online consumers has not grown at the rate of previous years. The report details “Growth in the number of online shoppers in 2008 was strong, but considerably less than the growth seen in 2007. We predict that these growth rates will continue to fall over the next five years, as penetration of the population begins to level out”
Source: Verdict Research
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