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57% of all consumer retail spending now made online, as shoppers ditch the High Street

By Paul Skeldon December 7, 2018 - 5:52 pm

A staggering 57% of all consumer retail spening is now made online, with half of that – a quarter of the total – done on mobile. And it is all at the expense of the High Street.

An extensive study by Mastercard finds that just 43% of spending volume is done physically in stores, while online commerce – in all its’ forms – accounts for more than half.

Of the 57% of volumes spent online, almost half of this (27%) is made up by spending on mobile devices, according to data from a pan-European survey of more than 18,000 people.

The shift to online commerce correlates with Mastercard’s own spending tracker: online shopping will see the strongest sales growth of the holiday season, up 11.1% year-on-year according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.

“Technology will have an increasingly important role in helping retailers woo shoppers back to the high street. The most successful stores are always gearing themselves around the overall shopping experience. These shops are becoming places to interact and personalise products rather than simply a place to buy things. We expect to see this trend to grow as smaller retailers realise they can offer something the online world can’t.”
– Janne Karppinen, Head of Retail at Mastercard UK

The figures are backed up by a separate study by Divido finds that only 7% of Uk shoppers browse exclusively in-store before making a high-value purchase (identified as costing over £250), putting pressure on the value of bricks and mortar stores in the UK.

However, a quarter (28%) of consumers like to go in-store to look at an item before making a high-value purchase, while almost a third (32%) are happy with just having the option to complete a transaction in-store, suggesting the high street remains an integral part of the buying process.

The research also highlights spending influences, with social media promotion surprisingly having limited influence on consumers. In fact, UK shoppers are twice as likely to be influenced by friends and family over what they see being promoted on social media; just 30% state social media promotion affects buying decisions. Meanwhile, the availability of different finance options is becoming more appealing for Brits, with 17% highlighting that this is an important factor when making high-value purchases.

“The continued growth of online means that retailers are now realising that their stores must excel if they are to attract and retain customers. Whilst we enjoy researching high-value purchases online, we also value a great in-store experience where we can interact, touch and feel the product before we make the final purchase decision.”
– Andrew Busby, Founder and CEO of Retail Reflections

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