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Business

Published on September 19th, 2013 | by The GC Team

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Online shopping to reach £50bn by 2018

E-retail is set to grow by almost 50% over the next five years to over £50bn in 2018, when one pound in every seven spent in retail will be made online, according to new research from Verdict.

One of the key drivers for the growth is the fact that more and more shoppers consider online shopping to be as enjoyable, or even more enjoyable, than traditional shopping. In a survey of over 10,000 online shoppers, only 4% more people considered physical shopping to be more enjoyable than online shopping, compared to a 25% gap 18 months ago.

“Rather than push online spend outdoors, the rapid adoption of touch-screen tablets and smartphones has moved online shopping into the living room,” said Verdict Lead Analyst Patrick O’Brien. “67% said they shopped from their living room, indicating that second screening – browsing websites while watching TV – has had a major impact. This, together with the ability to browse on smartphones wherever you are, and social media, has made online shopping a much more immersive and interactive experience than it was only a few years ago when more shoppers tended to be restricted to desktops typically located away from the living room.”

While mobile devices are playing a major role in the rise of ‘showrooming – the use of smartphones to check prices of competitors while browsing in stores – their impact is also being felt in the home, according to Verdict.

“Rather than making consumers agnostic about where they make their purchases, smartphones and tablets are used in stores mainly to check prices and product details. The idea that showrooming customers are wielding their smartphones in stores to purchase from rival retailers en masse is a myth,” said O’Brien. “Only 2% of online shoppers say they have purchased while at a retailer, but 97% say they shop online at home and 15% at work. Mobile phone users generally prefer to wait until they are on a secure and trusted network before committing to a purchase.”

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