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'Digital distance' saves consumers £32m in petrol

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The nation is turning online for a quick shopping experience from the comfort of their own homes- their living rooms to be precise.

Online marketing company Webloyalty, worked with analysts Conlumino to compile a list of UK “connected consumer habits” to understand why 70.4% of those surveyed believe that technology will make shopping a more convenient experience in the future.

The report highlights that the typical browser spends almost four hours a week shopping online, with 64% of online users ordering apparel and clothing accessories. Ordering online allows the consumer to avoid queues.

Webloyalty confirmed that the average UK shopper visits more than 16 retailers every week. If the consumer added up the total ‘digital distance’, it would equate to UK citizens travelling an overall digital distance of 198.2m miles on a weekly basis, saving consumers £32m in petrol.

For the first time, online shopping has overtaken its physical equivalent, with 87% now shopping online compared to 78% choosing to shop in store. This means that retailers must ensure their online marketing strategies are up to scratch and that distribution centres are capable of reaching the growing demands of a time poor nation.

It isn’t just on desktops that consumers are placing orders, mobile shopping has doubled in the last decade, totalling £33.4bn compared to 2004’s figure of £15.8bn. These numbers are set to rise further with developments to network services. In Barcelona there are plans to make “5G” a reality, while the move to 4G in South Korea means that people now shop online 13 times more than before.

Enhancing online capabilities worldwide will mean consumers can shop without really lifting a finger. The UK, the US and China are the top three exporters of online purchases and so between them they are set to clock up a large amount of digital distance, providing customers with a wider range of global products.

According to Webloyalty, the key to running a successful omni-channel business is providing an all-round personalised experience, with 56% of surveyed participants saying they would use a retailer more if this was the case. Ordering online means the process needs to be simple and customers must feel all their queries are answered without the helping hand of a shop assistant.

Guy Chiswick, Managing Director for Webloyalty Northern Europe said: “With consumers more attracted than ever to the convenience of online shopping, retailers need to ensure that they have an attractive and convenient presence online to improve revenue”.

Published on Wednesday 04 March by Rachel Gee

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