27 February 2014
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Influence of the Internet can be felt at every corner of the world, it has affected every individual and business. It not only decides that how we communicate and how we work, but also how we shop. According to a July 2013 study by Cushman & Wakefield, globally the online retail market secured 18 percent per annum year-on-year growth in the last 3 years against 1.3 percent per annum observed through other sales channel.

In the advanced market like the UK, and the US, physical stores are on the verge of extinction against their online retail counterparts, should they not adapt with the technology shift. As consumers are getting more at home with the digital technology, as predicted by Verdict/SAS research report, and Internet is becoming pervasive, retailers are bound to change their consumer-approach strategy whether it’s sales and marketing or customer service. An interesting aspect of the report is that by 2016, the people aged 55+ demographic will account for almost 10 million online shoppers; thus online retailers have to keep in mind of the preferences of older generation as well, besides taking care of youngsters who are obsessed with the online shopping trend.

Coming on to the product-category, computer software dominated the entire range with 45.4 percent, followed by computer hardware with 27 percent, and audio devices with 24.6 percent demand. Shopping in health & beauty and clothing & footwear categories witnessed upward trend, whilst furniture & floorcoverings and books, and news & stationery went down.

On the basis of per capita expenditure in online retail, the UK ranked at third position with $869. The first and second positions were occupied by Norway ($921) and Finland ($ 904) respectively. In terms of Internet-sales-volume also the country stood at third slot with $54, 737 million, lagging behind the US ($186, 942 million) and China ($75, 322 million) respectively.

Women vs. Men, no matter what we compare, we are interested in knowing who is ahead in the battle. The balance swung in favor of the fair sex as expected, and is well supported by the Paymentsense study. It found that women are more active shopper than men (72 percent vs. 68 percent), and they receive more e-mail marketing requests from a store than their counterparts. Men do shopping without a clear choice about destination (33 percent vs. 26 percent), but when it comes to cracking bargain and best deal, women outclassed men with 71 percent vs. 57 percent. Women exploit more coupon benefits then men (34 percent vs. 26 percent). The bang of social media like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Zynga, Reddit, LinkedIn, etc. can be experienced in online shopping trend. 55 percent of women preferred to buy products from brands that they found on social media.

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