Consumers may be displaying spending restraint, (May saw the lowest increase in online sales since records began), but experts remain confident that e-commerce sales will continue to grow throughout 2017. Indeed, 22% of all retail purchases were carried out online in May this year, which demonstrates the internet’s unyielding success with consumers as a means to make purchases.
Online Sales continue to grow in Britain
The UK remains a top destination for online grocery shopping, second only to South Korea, and this looks unlikely to diminish. Internet Retailing Magazine has predicted that £67bn will be spent online this year, 40% of which will be over mobile devices such as smartphones.
The food sector would appear to be benefiting most from online retailing, with a 17.6% year-on-year growth, according to ONS. Revealing that it pays to be online, other sectors are also seeing a year-on-year growth in e-commerce sale:
- Department stores: +8.5%
- Clothing, footwear and textile stores: +11.7%
- Household goods stores: +9.2%
- Other stores: +11.3%
Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of BRC, has spoken about the importance of harnessing the power of online shopping, stating that “retailers will be increasingly looking to innovate and optimise their online channels to convert a greater share of online browsing into sales.”
Converting online browsing into actual purchases should remain a priority for retailers, with a reported 74% of baskets being abandoned in 2016. Consumer research has indicated that speed is vital in converting sales. Rob Harper, mobile commerce director at PayPal UK, stated: “Speed is an important factor in any shopping experience, but when it comes to mobile shopping it’s vital. […] If it takes too long to pay, [retailers] may lose that sale.”
With load times in the UK about 10-25% slower than in the US, every second counts. Indeed, Google research has revealed that improving load times by just one second can increase conversion rates by 27%.
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Shorter delivery times to innovate online shopping
However, it is not just websites that need to be speedy. Research conducted by Clouder.co.uk, experts in one hour deliveries, have revealed that the UK tops the list of countries searching for same day deliveries, beating both the United States and Australia.
The key words ‘same day delivery’ were most commonly searched for on Google in London, with Birmingham a close second.
Queries into same day delivery from retailers peaked several times in 2016. It was most searched for on Google from the 7th to the 13th of February (or just before Valentine’s day), then again at the beginning of May, then from the 14th and 20th of August, just in time for last-minute summer holiday purchases, and finally, just before Christmas, where the search peaked from 14th to the 24th of December.
With companies such as Amazon offering same day delivery, and Tesco dipping their toes into the one-hour delivery services, consumers are wanting their purchases to land on their doorstep faster than ever.
According to Google trends, the most commonly desired purchase to be delivered the same day were flowers, followed by cake, chocolate and finally balloons.
Survey reveals consumer relationship with home delivery
Clouder.co.uk decided to dig deeper into the same-day delivery consumer trend. A survey of 523 participants revealed the following:
- 52% said they would specifically choose a retailer that offered same day delivery over those that didn’t.
- 67% of participants would spend more if it meant they would get same-day delivery
- 36% of respondents stated they would pay £10-15 for same-day delivery when in a pinch.
- 34% were most likely to use same-day delivery for Valentine’s day, 28% for birthdays, 31% for Christmas and 7% for other occasions.
- Males were most likely to use same-day delivery for Valentine’s day, females for birthdays.
- In general, females aged between 26-35 were most likely to opt for same-day delivery.
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Tomas Zalatoris, CEO of Clouder.co.uk, has stated the following on the survey’s findings:
“It comes as no surprise that customers want same-day delivery. With the success of services such as Amazon prime, a consumer’s delivery expectations are getting bigger and the time they are happy to wait for products is getting smaller. Millennials have been brought up alongside the digital boom, where everything is available instantly. Retailers need to be where consumers are, which as Millennials grow up, is increasingly online.”
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