Internet shopping trend looks set to stay; broadband in 50% of homes

21 January 2008 / by Verity G
The number of people choosing to shop online has doubled in the past twelve months according to the latest report from the IMRG Capgemini Index.

With more people than ever opting to buy their goods and services on the internet the amount of money spent online shopping has reached an astronomical £46 billion, compared to just £30.2 billion in 2006.

The study, which compiled data from around 60 retail websites including John Lewis, Carphone Warehouse, Littlewoods Retail and Comet, found that nearly one pound in every seven was spent on consumer goods last year - over 50 per more than in 2006.

According to the study by IMRG, the online retailers' industry body and consultants Capgemini, money spent by UK shoppers on the web overtook Tesco's turnover and is expected to rise higher by at least one pound in five over the next 12 months as more consumers choose the convenience of online shopping.

Currently 63.8 per cent of UK homes have internet access while 50 per cent have broadband but only 66 per cent of UK consumers buy their products or services over the web; however, this figure is likely to rise in the next year alone.

Anthoula Madden, Vice President at Capgemini UK’s Consumer Products and Retail Team comments: "Online retailing is developing so quickly that those who do not yet have an online presence really will get left behind. Whilst we are yet to see high streets sales decline there can be no doubt online is growing its share at the expense of bricks and mortar retailers. We believe that this trend will continue."

The fastest growing sector has been electricals which saw sales rise in December by 60 per cent with goods such as iPods, mobile phones and computer games consuls being the most popular choice, followed closely by clothing sales which rose by 28 per cent over the month of December compared to the same period in 2006.

This Christmas saw around 23 million Britons buy their gifts online, up six million on 2006 figures while four million people took to their PCs on Christmas Day 2007 spending an incredible £84 million or an average of £21 each.

James Roper, CEO of IMRG, adds: "Consumers are making the most of the 24/7 convenience and competitive pricing that online shopping has to offer. Why would you fight the shopping crowd to buy a TV on the high street when you can arrange for it to be delivered to your home, at a time that suits you and often at a more competitive price? Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically over the last few years and really is the driving force behind many of the changes in the e-retail landscape. If retailers intend to be part of the future retail scene, they need to develop a robust online presence."

Fair Investment Company Ltd