This guest post is by Sergio Bonaducci
According to the UK’s industry association for online retail, IMRG, the online retail market has an estimated annual value of £87bn, with figures increasing, year on year, by around 17.5%.
All this makes the UK the internet shopping capital of the world – but why is the internet such a popular platform for retail, and why does it continue to grow?
Physical stores suffer from higher overheads, but online retailers don’t have these expenses to worry about – that’s why you’ll usually find the online price represents much better value for money.
Price comparison sites like MoneySupermarket have also become extremely popular with more money conscious online shoppers, and by searching through a list of online retailers, they’ll guarantee that you find the item you want at the lowest price.
High street stores are limited by an extremely important factor: physical space.
Online retailers don’t have this problem. They’re not limited in the choice and variety of goods they can display, and a broader, more diverse product range means that online shoppers are less likely to be forced into making compromises.
The cost of opening and maintaining a business as an online store is much cheaper than opening one as a retail store. This means that more and more businesses are starting up online, offering the consumer a wider, more varied choice.
Online shops are extremely clever. They’re very good at targeting their customers, and a lot of big online retailers are now capitalizing on the idea of creating ‘customized browsing experiences’ which display more ‘relevant’ products and services to their customers.
Just take look at Amazon.
Visit their site and you’ll be greeted with thousands of unique product recommendations based on your buying history, what items you have in your cart, and what items you’ve liked and rated – and they’ve successfully integrated these customized browsing experiences throughout the entire site, from homepage to checkout.
Online reviews = greater trust
Nobody wants to throw their money away on things that are poorly designed or manufactured, so naturally, when we buy, we want know as much as possible about what it is we’re buying.
We want to base our buying decisions on information we deem honest, reliable, fair and unbiased, and online reviews help form our opinions and shape our attitudes in ways that product descriptions and hyped-up sales pitches simply can’t.
Put simply, most of us are pretty lazy – so if a quicker, easier, less stressful option exists, we’ll take it.
Online shopping means that we can buy the latest gym equipment without ever getting out of bed, or order clothes in less than 10 minutes on our lunch break.
High street shopping usually means overly crowded streets, travel, no parking spaces and a whole lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety.
With less time and effort, we can find the items we want online, add them to the cart and purchase with a click.
Who’d want it any other way?
But convenience isn’t just about avoiding the crowded high streets, it’s also about delivery.
Not so long ago, the full potential of online shopping was understood, but poor logistics let it down.
But things have changed.
Nowadays you can order something in the morning, and have it delivered by the afternoon. Improved delivery has been the key development behind many companies’ success in growing their online retail.
Freight and shipping companies like Espace Global Freight have responded to the increased demand for fast and reliable global delivery with intelligent logistics planning – and the introduction of specialised cargo handling services has redefined what can and what can’t be shipped.
The way we shop is constantly changing, and as technology improves the way in which we interact with the online marketplace evolves.
Shopping has become an increasingly portable activity, and tablets and mobile devices have initiated a shift in our consumer lifestyles – in fact, they’ve become so much a part of how we shop that they’re now responsible for 1/8 of all revenue generated online.
E-commerce Get It Right! Essential Step-by-Step Guide for Selling & Marketing Products Online. Insider Secrets, Key Strategies & Practical Tips – Simplified for Start-Ups & Small Businesses
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About guest blogger
As a professional web developer Sergio is dedicated to providing a first-rate online experience. When not shackled to his desk Sergio enjoys whiling the hours away playing video games, so much that he has his own website where gamers can read a number of video game reviews and engaging features.