Online sales thrive despite High Street slowdown

Online shopping is booming despite the tough economic climate on the High Street, according to Verdict Research’s UK e-Retail 2008 report. It says that online spending increased by 35% to 14.7bn last year.

The trend is expected to continue as internet access grows and consumers buy more things online more often. It forecasts that online retail will be worth £33.9bn by 2012 and will account for 13.8% of total online spending.

In 2007, total retail growth was just 3.6% as consumers’ incomes were pinched by higher living costs. The online market expanded by over a third in 2007, driven by a 5.9% increase in internet users to 33.1m and a 24.7% increase in online shoppers to 22.6m. These shoppers are also purchasing more regularly (an average of 16.9 times per year, an increase of 2.7 trips on 2006) and each spent an average of 7.8% more than in 2006.

Electrical goods still account for a majority of online retail spend at 25.1% although online grocery shopping is now growing faster. It will account for 29% of online shopping by 2012 as electricals declines to 22%.

The music and DVD category has the highest online penetration with 30.8% of all sales being made on the internet. Verdict estimates that by 2012, online sales will account for over two thirds of the music and DVD market.

More than half of the 4,059 adults surveyed for the report said the convenience of online shopping is the main reason for its continuing success.

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