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Shifting Trends: Shopping & Spending Online

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in Market Research

For a number of years, consumer spending has been shifting from traditional bricks-and-mortar stores to online retailing sites. In the UK, Europe’s leading e-retailing economy, online spending was £58.8bn* compared to total retail sales of £293bn** last year. Online spending is set to grow its share by increasing 15% year-on-year compared to just 0.7% sales growth in the economy overall.

There are a number of factors attributed to the growth of online shopping. The ease of finding products and the vast choice available to consumers from the comfort of their own home is usually considered as the primary reason. The Internet has opened up new channels of engagement with customers, it’s also provided numerous benefits to both businesses and consumers. Companies have been able to reduce costs due to fewer overheads such as leases, business rates and utilities. This has allowed them to offer better deals to consumers, and become more competitive with their offers.

Leading the way online are e-commerce companies such as Amazon, ASOS and High street retailers who have traditionally focused upon providing a holistic offline shopping experience have been investing more online, too. Arcadia, parent company of Miss Selfridge and Top Shop, recently announced online sales growth of 27% against a decline overall in sales of 1.7% online.

The growth in consumer spending online is now being matched by digital advertising. The relative ease of setting up online ads, and the low costs of online shopping are an attractive alternative to traditional methods. Online advertisements are effective and measureable allowing marketers to develop their campaigns continuously. The value of online advertisement is recognised by retailers who are now allocating substantial resources to develop the best campaigns for web users. In the UK, online advertising now accounts for a quarter of all advertising spending1, and with swelling business focus on internet marketing, the numbers will continue to rise.

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