Despite the UK slipping back into recession the amount of online sales this Christmas is set to rise by 14% when compared to last year which is good news for all e-commerce businesses. During December consumers are predicted to spend £13.4 billion via online shopping methods. In comparison sales on the high street are expected to fall by 2.1% with a total of £55.7 billion being spent in shops a trend which is only expected to continue due to the popularity of the Internet.
Shopping on the Internet offers consumers the convenience of being able to order goods in the comfort of their own home and with huge savings to be had by buying gifts online compared to the high street you can see why people are turning to the Internet this Christmas.
In addition to online shopping buying products on mobile smart phones is becoming more and more popular with a total of £1.64 billion being spent by gift hungry consumers. Thanks to the popularity of smart phones and the introduction of 3G technology people are able to access websites easily while on the move and even purchase goods like they would at home on their PC. Mobile phone shopping will equate to 12.2% of all online shopping this Christmas and is becoming that popular that mega retailer John Lewis has installed free Wi-Fi access in all its stores allowing easy online access for all of its customers.
Further evidence to show that retailers are starting to catch on to the ever increasing popularity of e-commerce shopping and mobile phone shopping is the fact that eBay the world’s largest online marketplace opened a shop in London’s West End for five days during December where consumers could only purchase goods by scanning QR codes with the latest mobile smart phones. Similarly major retailer House of Fraser has opened two “dot com” stores based in Liverpool and Aberdeen where customers cannot physically buy goods, instead they have to use the in-store technology to browse and order goods online.
This Christmas shoppers are taking advantage of the fact that many retailers operate on a split price structure where website prices are considerably lower than their high street prices. In this difficult economic climate consumers are using the web, price comparison sites and forums to find the best bargains available. Technology is always evolving and so is the average customer, no longer are people limited to just shopping on the high street and e-commerce businesses are the ones benefiting.