Online shopping is gobbling up the high street at an unprecedented pace. It has become so successful that supermarkets are unable to cope with the demand despite increasing the number of delivery slots by 30% as online sales show gains of 50% over 2004.
The growth of internet shopping is now on a phenomenal growth curve that shows no signs of slowing down, driven by the UK’s rapid embrace of high speed, broadband telephone connections which make shopping online easy, convenient, quick and safe.
A year ago only 37% of the population had broadband but now it is just under 60% and growing rapidly. As web sites become more sophisticated and easier to use and delivery of goods becomes more reliable the joys of internet shopping are increasingly being spread by word of mouth.
Products with known specifications (e.g. cameras, books etc) are still the most popular online because there is no need to “touch and feel” them but increasingly ‘soft’ items such as clothing and toys are being bought over the web.
The Business Forum & Economic Partnership ran a seminar in September to introduce independent retailers to the opportunities Ecommerce offers. It will be progressing this theme with another event in the new year.
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