The amount of people using the internet to buy goods and services has risen dramatically as online retailers and pureplays continue to benefit from the digital revolution.
38m Britons now use the Internet every day – a 15m rise from 2008.
Clothes were the most popular online purchase in 2014, bought by 49 per cent of UK adults. Those aged 25-34 were most likely to buy these items (46 per cent.) The sharpest increase of computer usage was in the 60+ age range which has doubled since 2008 as older people shopped from iPads and laptops. 90 per cent of 16 to 24 year olds used the net for buying and selling goods and services.
Analysts Kantar Worldpanel said the appetite for grocery home delivery will drive further growth in the future and will increase by almost 50 per cent over the next two years. Currently around 40 per cent of 25-34 year olds use the internet to shop for groceries. The figure is significantly lower in older age groups but this is widely expected to rise over the next few years as supermarkets make grocery shopping cheaper and more convenient. Waitrose, Sainsbury‘s, Tesco and Asda have all launched click and collect hubs at peripheral tube stations in London in response to consumers using mobile devices to buy products while Morrisons have rolled out online grocery services across the UK this year.
A report from online trade association IMRG earlier this year found that multi-channel retailers such as Argos, John Lewis and The Entertainer are outperforming pure plays by 79 per cent compared to 59 per cent as consumers shopped ‘on the go.‘ Despite ownership of mobile phones, tablets and laptops surging, IMRG says it is seeing an overall slowdown in m-retail as growth comes off a higher base. Alex Smith-Bingham, Vice President, Digital Services Leader, Capgemini, commented: “It would appear that the multichannel retailers, which have been investing in their mobile platforms, have a larger opportunity than their pureplay counterparts as mobile is not only an additional sales channel but can also drive greater engagement and sales in-store.”
A third of sales are now made online at John Lewis while House of Fraser increased its sales with a mobile first approach by 41 per cent this year.