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Consumers manage budgets via e-commerce

01 September 2011 - 11:33 by Graham Miller

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A study has found that many UK shoppers are compiling the lists of items they need to buy via online shopping in order to work out how much a typical trip to the supermarket will cost them.

Consumers surveyed by Asda said that they would often combine e-commerce sites with high street retail trips to ensure that they could find the best possible price.

This technique for money saving is largely carried out by those looking to buy groceries. Since most supermarket chains allow users to browse products and prices online, it is possible for consumers to be discerning and find the shop that can give them the best deal without actually having to visit them.

With added costs for delivery it seems that many consumers are taking online grocery shopping only part of the way and then relying on traditional high street outlets to actually pick up the goods themselves.

Asda recently published findings from its income tracker service, showing that the average UK household is £11 a week worse off this summer than they were in mid-2010, a drop of 6.4 per cent.

Asda spokesperson, Andy Clarke, explained that tough economic times were being reflected in household budgets and consumer spending habits. Family purse strings are tightening as less money is coming in and so it makes sense for people to combine safe shopping online with high street bargain hunting if they want to push their budgets as far as possible.

Of course low consumer spending means retailers will be feeling the pinch themselves and more store closures seem inevitable in the coming months, according to experts. E-commerce companies have a slightly brighter future given that some of the cash is migrating from the high street to the internet, but if shoppers are holding onto more of their money then it is bad news for everyone.