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Consumers avoid impulse buys when shopping online

24 June 2014 - 14:21 by Sarah Collinson

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The results of a new survey from eDigitalResearch have shown that people in the UK tend to make fewer impulse purchases when shopping online, compared to on the high street. And experts argue that this could mean there is a limit to how much growth e-commerce can achieve going forwards.

Almost a third of respondents to the study revealed that they do not indulge in impulse buying when using the web to order items, which analysts believe will ultimately mean that people spend less when using e-commerce sites than they would if they were at a bricks and mortar store.

Spokesperson, Dereck Eccleston, said that retailers can overcome the issues generated by changing consumer habits if they create e-commerce sites that are targeted at presenting consumers with access to products that they really want to buy, as this could overcome the reduction in impulse purchasing.

The survey found that customers are not especially loyal to a particular brand name when buying products online, especially when it comes to groceries. Just one in 10 said that they regularly pick the same brand when participating in safe shopping online, so retailers can easily convince the majority of customers to select alternatives, as long as they are presented in an appealing and convenient way.

The latest figures from IMRG, show that the e-commerce market grew by 17 per cent last month in the UK, helping retailers to net £8.2 billion in sales.

Spending amped up ahead of the World Cup in Brazil and the sunny weather meant more people were buying suitable clothing and goods to get them through the summer ahead. So while there are some signs that spending might be impacted by a reduction in impulse buying habits, consumers are making up for it with considered, frequent e-commerce purchases.