With online shopping becoming a billion-dollar market in Britain, analysts say that stores will be forced to change their business models to adapt.
Online shopping is poised to take 20p out of every UK consumer pound by the end of the year, a landmark milestone that analysts believe will make the channel a critical business for many high-street retailers. Although online shopping growth actually fell in June (the first time it has done so since 2005), the report predicts the economic downturn will encourage more consumer spend to go online, as shoppers hunt for bargains. Also, with the price of fuel at such all time highs,you have to count the cost of the shopping expedition
as well as the prices of merchandise.
In CMR's latest thought leader position for Forbes, we show that e-commerce is actually booming in China, driven by changing demographic demands, especially from Chinese youth. It is critical that companies begin to look at how to use the internet to drive sales. Not only should companies utilize the internet for marketing purposes, but they should look at it as a critical sales channel to Chinese youth who are increasingly turning to the internet to buy not just cheap items like books and DVDs but more complex and expensive products like electronics, luxury items, and clothes.
This week, comScore Networks released the first in its latest series of studies geared at examining the online shopping activity of European citizens throughout the holiday season.
The initial data shows that French retail sites experienced the largest gains in the first three weeks of the holiday seasons, highlighted by a 79 percent increase in online shopping traffic for the week ending November 26th versus the pre-holiday average.
"While cyber shopping visits rose most quickly in Germany during the first week of the holiday shopping season, online shoppers in France have since become more active," said Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe.
"These gains show that consumers armed with high-speed access and positive online retail experiences are increasingly comfortable shopping online."
Ivins continues, "As online spending continues to grow and account for a larger percentage of total consumer spending, the growth in online shopping could be the difference between a good Christmas and a great Christmas for many online retailers."
Metrical analysis of the United States and Europe show trends of increased spending in online retail from last year, and the rate of transition from traditional to online shopping isn't showing signs of slowing down anytime soon.
The larger question, however, lies in what all these numbers actually mean? How do you gauge these metrics to gain insight into actual user behavior rather than just dollars spent online?
Why are shoppers spending more time online rather than in traditional retail marketplaces? Is it just a matter of price, or does product availability and comfort factor into the equation as well?
If marketers are truly serious about gearing their advertising campaigns in contextually relevant ways, it will be important to ask the "why" question more and more in response to studies like this which reflect statistics, but give little insight into gauging consumer intent.
It depends on how far one lives from the store as well as the mode of transportation used. While it is hard to beat the greenness of walking across the street to your neighborhood grocery COOP and bringing your own containers for bulk purchases and canvas bags for the short walk back home, not everyone is fortunate enough to live in such close proximity to the marketplace. Not everyone even desires to live centrally.
Living in the country, a family on Wasted was addicted to online shopping. Wasteful? Yes, however, if it weren't for the internet, they would probably still be addicted to shopping. The difference is that they would have to drive their gas guzzlers into the city to get their fix.
The US Postal Service, along with shipping giants such as Fed Ex and UPS are making the rounds anyway, driving close to most American households everyday, if not right past it. Even in the country. These services are like well-organized carpools for goods.