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E-commerce bucks inflation trend as prices drop

17 August 2012 - 10:04 by Simon Crisp

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While the UK remains in the grip of economic woes, with high street prices increasing as a result of inflation over the past year, it seems that consumers are still able to make savings, if they use safe shopping online.

This is because a new report from TalkTalk has found that the cost of products made available via e-commerce sites, has actually dropped by 0.7 per cent in the past year.

Over the same range of items, consumers would have spent 1.6 per cent more purchasing them at bricks and mortar outlets in 2012, than they would have in 2011.

The fact that prices have actually fallen on the internet, reversing inflation, means that consumers are able to get even more value out of each experience of safe shopping online.

The study looked at the price differences between items purchased on the high street and the same product offered via e-commerce sites, with marked premiums being paid by those who do not shop online.

The biggest saving that could be made turned out to be in the realm of home electronics, as a Hotpoint oven was £136 cheaper online than in store.

TalkTalk spokesperson, Tristia Clarke, said that many would be surprised at the amount of cash that can be clawed back by consumers who choose to use e-commerce outlets, rather than shopping on the high street.

She pointed out that households across the UK were still having their budgets squeezed, whether by unemployment, pay freezes or other economic pressures, of which inflation can often be a key player.

The result is that many people are looking to save as much money as possible on essential purchases and even on items that would usually be considered as affordable luxuries, which is why e-commerce is thriving.