Internet browsing boosts high street spending

Europe’s high-street stores will reap the rewards of Internet browsing this Christmas, says Jupiter Research.

It believes traditional retailers will benefit from offline sales of 7.5bn (£4.6bn) as a result of online window shopping – users looking but not purchasing – during the run-up to Christmas Day.

But the festive season will also highlight the poor co-ordination of clicks and bricks retailers’ websites with their high street stores.

Jupiter’s research indicates that the Internet has a greater impact on offline than online spending. While 25 per cent of Europe’s 80 million online users will shop online this year, 36 per cent will research on the Internet before visiting the high street.

These 31 million online window shoppers will spend e7.5bn in offline stores, more than four times as much as the predicted online spend. Jupiter expects this year’s online Christmas sales to reach e1.7bn across Europe, representing 32 per cent of the total amount spent online in 2000.

“Traditional retailers cannot ignore the growing influence the Internet has on how people spend offline,” says Nick Jones, senior analyst at Jupiter. “They can benefit by integrating their online and offline propositions.”

Music and toys are selling particularly well online. Some e103m will be spent on the former and e36m on the latter.

– The UK’s online Christmas spend for 2000 has increased to £201m, according to figures from Initiative Media Futures. Weekly spend is at £133m, up from £23m in mid-November. Of the 31 per cent of online consumers (14.4 million people), 35 per cent (5 million) will use the Net to purchase Christmas goods (including food). This is 11 per cent of the total adult population, tripling the number of online shoppers in 1999.

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