U.K. Turning From Online Auctions?

For a long time the popularity and growth of Internet auction sites seemed inevitable. But now, according to research by analysts Point Topic, that might not be the case, at least in the UK.

The last six months has seen a drop of 4% in the number of British consumers buying goods at auction sites. Moreover, although 69% of those who go online use the Internet for shopping, that figure has remained virtually static for the last 18 months.

That could mean that the novelty of shopping online has palled, or it could be well due to the global credit crunch biting hard as people watch their expenditures.

The numbers shopping have increased, largely due to more people having broadband, but more and more people are claiming not to spend any money online.

Pamela Varley, a research analyst at Point Topic, said:

“Consumers, particularly women, need to see and touch some items before they buy (cosmetics, food and clothes top the list) and a growing proportion use the internet to check prices and availability before visiting a physical store."

There’s little joy for online retailers in the company’s report. They speculate that online sellers will acquire customers at a slowing rate, with the lower rate of broadband growth a main factor.

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