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E-commerce encourages greater consumer spending

01 October 2013 - 15:40 by Graham Miller

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A new report, from Ark UK, has argued that people who use safe shopping online to buy their weekly groceries will actually spend more money than those who do the same in-store.

The average online spend is at ?81 this year, compared to the ?76 which is attributable to bricks and mortar purchases.

Two thousand people took part in the survey, which looked at the changing consumer behaviours which are shaping the retail market.

While most people still head out to a physical retail outlet to buy their groceries each week, many are now choosing to do so as a supplement to their online activities, topping up on any missing items rather than spending the bulk of their cash in this area.

The appeal of safe shopping online, aside from its price and convenience, was found to be the sheer range of items on offer. So people are including a wider variety of products each week, which is part of the reason for the higher average spend in the e-commerce sector.

Report spokesperson, Michelle Whelan, said that the statistics revealed some interesting things about the multichannel retail habits being adopted by many in the UK.

She said that the line between convenience stores and supermarkets was being blurred in terms of the intentions consumers have about consuming the products purchased. While supermarkets used to be all about providing long term options, this is not necessarily the case in the wake of the rise of e-commerce.

Another fact uncovered in the study is that consumers are not easily convinced to part with cash for dairy products, as well as cereals and cleaning products. This is based on offers elsewhere or lack of availability, both in-store and online, which shows that there are some areas that retailers have yet to conquer.