Online shopping to hit £50bn by 2018.
Shoppers flock to their living rooms thanks to mobiles and tablets
E-retail is set to grow by almost 50% over the next five years to be worth over £50bn in 2018, when one pound in every seven spent on retail will be made online, according to new research from Verdict.
One of the key drivers of this growth is the fact that more and more shoppers consider online shopping to be as enjoyable, if not more so, than traditional shopping. In a survey of over 10,000 online shoppers, only 4% more people considered physical shopping to be more enjoyable than online, compared to a 25% gap 18 months ago.
Mobility has been a major contributor to increasing the enjoyment of online shopping. Tablets in particular have proven to be a rapidly growing success. Despite being a relatively new technology, they represent a higher proportion of online expenditure than mobile phones (11.7% versus 6.0%). The last two years has seen a deluge of cheaper tablet devices come onto the market, which, along with the popularity of the iPad, resulted in a rapid increase in tablet penetration.
However, rather than push online spend outdoors, the rapid adoption of touch screen tablets and smartphones has moved online shopping into the living room. 67% said they shopped from their living room, indicating that second screening – browsing websites while watching TV – has had a major impact. This, together with the ability to browse on smartphones wherever you are, and social media, has made online shopping a much more immersive and interactive experience than it was only a few years ago, when more shoppers tended to be restricted to desktops typically located away from the living room.
Physical retailers appear to be losing their advantage in ‘enjoyment’, with both men and 35–54 year olds already finding online shopping more enjoyable than physical stores. They need to work harder on giving people reasons to enter their stores, through improved customer service, events and engaging shopping environments.
To view the accompanying e-retail infographic, click here.
For further information on the report E-Retail in the UK, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.