A new e-commerce report from Verdict Research has indicated that online retailing might be immune to the credit crunch now affecting Britain. Spending rose 35% last year, to around $29 billion, a growth rate 10 times that of the total British retail market – and this in spite of the credit crunch around the corner at the time.
In fact, it looks as if the online market might prove immune to worsening economic conditions, as the report estimates that online sales in the UK could rise over $89 billion by 2012.
"The internet is widely perceived as a cheaper and easier way of finding lower prices and bargains in most sectors," said Malcolm Pinkerton, senior retail analyst at Verdict Research. "As the cost of broadband falls, consumers become more accustomed to internet shopping and retailers continue to enhance their online propositions. This channel will find itself extremely well placed to capitalize on falling consumer confidence and lower levels of disposable income currently [affecting] the retail market."
The main items bought online last year were electrical items and groceries, with electricals leading the list with 25.1% of the total, and men tending to go for higher-ticket items online.
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