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E-commerce enables massive reduction in consumer travel

23 February 2015 - 10:08 by Graham Miller

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A new report has estimated that the rise of online shopping in the UK now allows consumers to collectively travel almost 200 million miles less over the course of a typical week, than they would have done before e-commerce services became ubiquitous.

Analysts at Conlumino state that this means people are saving £32 million in fuel costs that would otherwise have been swallowed up by trips to the supermarket and the town centre.

An average UK consumer uses about four hours of their time each week to shop online, but of course, rather than having to also invest time and money in travelling to and from bricks and mortar outlets, all of this can be done from the comfort of home.

Respondents to the study said that they were moving towards e-commerce use and away from the high street because they were fed up with how time consuming a typical shopping trip can be. People spend lots of time online, but take about 25 per cent less time to select and purchase products from an e-commerce site than from a real world outlet.

Add to this the fact that buying online generally allows consumers to access products at a lower price and it is easy to see why so many people in the UK now rely on the internet for all their retail needs.

Of course, the environmental benefits of the reduced travelling should also be noted, because by using delivery services to provide packages to multiple households, rather than having individuals heading out in their own vehicles to pick up the shopping, is more efficient and eco-friendly.

Online shopping is showing people that retail can be fast, fun and affordable, even if this means that the high street is suffering as a result.