By Graham Jones
Online shopping is slowing down. The latest figures for May, show that even in the UK where online retail is way ahead of much of the rest of the world, the pace of change is slowing.
Several years ago, there were predictions that shops would close and the High Street would be wiped out before the turn of the century. It hasn’t happened. Even though there are pressures on bricks and mortar retailers because of the Internet, the High Street is alive and well. Indeed, even the giant of online retail, Amazon, is so convinced that the High Street has a future that it is busy building real-world bookstores and buying traditional retailers. If Amazon thinks it is worth while investing billions in bricks and mortar shopping, you can be sure that online retail is pretty much at saturation point. Amazon is having to look offline to grow.
Even with massive growth in online retail in recent years, it still only represents about 10-15% of all consumer purchasing in the UK. In other countries, it is much lower – Britain is one of the places where online shopping has truly caught on. We buy six times as many groceries online as people in the USA, for instance. Yet 94% of all UK grocery shopping is conducted in the real world. Worse still for those trying to make a living out of online retail, according to the Office for National Statistics, 78% of all online shopping is NOT in stores. That means almost everything we buy online is from individual websites, rather than Internet shops – unlike our love for real-world shopping where we frequent the multiples more than anything else.
Convenience is not everything
Online shopping is undeniably convenient. You can buy things with little effort, you don’t have to drive into town or pay for car parking. You can stay dry if it is raining outside and you don’t even have to go to the bother of washing and dressing because you can shop in your jim-jams. Yet, in spite of these obvious benefits of online shopping, we prefer to buy almost everything from bricks and mortar stores in the real world.
Convenience is only one aspect of shopping. It is what online shopping cannot provide that attracts us to real-world retailers. A new study from MoodMedia has found that one of the key reasons we prefer real-world shopping over buying things online is because we can touch the objects we might want to buy. More than 70% of people want to touch things before they buy them. You cannot check the freshness of groceries when you buy them online, but you can in a real-world supermarket.
Importantly, what the MoodMedia study revealed was that real-world shopping provides us with an experience, which we cannot easily match with online shopping. People like the smells and sounds of real-world stores, for instance. Also, when you look at people shopping in real-world stores you frequently see them in groups. Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community