In today’s rapidly evolving retail marketplace, more and more shoppers are choosing to buy a wider array of products online. A recent survey conducted by Verdict Research said that in 2006 the amount of money spent by consumers online grew by 33.4% to £10.9bn, and, that this figure is expected to almost triple over the next five years. The survey looked only at goods bought online and did not include spending on flights, tickets or insurance.
The research group believe that cheaper, faster, more reliable internet access was driving the boom at a time when many high street retailers were seeing a drop in demand. Of 3,000 customers surveyed, two thirds had broadband internet connections and shopped online more often because of it.
Research states that by 2011 online retailing was be worth in the region of £30bn, around 9.5% of the UK’s retail sales.
Benefits of selling online
Selling online has a number of advantages over selling by conventional methods, including:
Making savings in set-up and operational costs. You don't need to pay shop assistants, rent high-street premises, or answer a lot of pre-sales queries.
Reaching a global audience, thereby increasing sales opportunities.
Competing with larger businesses by being able to open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Being able to receive payment more quickly from online transactions.
Attracting customers who would not normally have investigated your type of high-street outlet.
Improving your offerings using the data gathered by tracking customer purchases.
Using your online shop as a catalogue for existing customers.
Online selling will work best for you if you have:
Well-defined products or services that can be sold without human intervention in the sales process
Fixed prices for all types of potential customers
Products or services that can be delivered with a predictable lead time