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Easter weekend sees a fall in online shopping

05 April 2018 - 10:00 by David Aiken

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In spite of the relatively dreary weather over the Easter weekend this year, consumers were not prompted to carry out safe shopping online rather than heading to bricks and mortar outlets.

Stats from PCA Predict show that e-commerce sales dipped by 1.4 per cent last Friday, while out of town retail parks enjoyed a five per cent uptick in visitor numbers, according to Internet Retailing.

Shopping centres performed better than UK high street outlets, suggesting that people were looking for an all in one retail experience, rather than something less focused and spread out.

Report spokesperson, Chris Boaz, said that his team had not expected to see sales made  online slip this Easter, especially given that the weather conditions were not especially favourable and real world outlets were predicted to be hit hardest.

He pointed out that in spite of the apparent struggle that e-commerce sites had experienced over the weekend, there were still some parts of the market which did enjoy growth. More people used mobile devices to buy online, for example, which means that retailers must continue to cater to smartphone users if they want to increase web sales.

User experience is key to this process and industry experts are eager to point out that this applies not only online, but also in-store. The internet offers shoppers the utmost convenience and cost-effectiveness, but insiders argue that the same benefits can be offered at bricks and mortar outlets, if only firms are willing to embrace innovations.

Recent closures of major high street chains highlight the instability of this marketplace. But perhaps online shopping is on similarly tricky ground if sales growth can slip at a time of the year where positive performance is usually recorded throughout the web-savvy UK.