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E-commerce impact on high street sales less significant than thought

19 February 2014 - 12:01 by Simon Crisp

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A new study commissioned by eBay and conducted by Deloitte, has concluded that only five per cent of the cash which consumers are spending online is being directly lost by high street retailers.

This figure requires some context, because it only applies to outlets which have both a bricks and mortar and e-commerce presence, meaning that the companies which choose to operate across multiple channels are most likely to benefit from the market as it stands today.

The report looked at both British and German sales, concluding that an even higher proportion of people shopping online in Germany are actually doing so without also detracting from the high street.

The study used significant amounts of data from 17 major retailers in the UK over the past half decade, so it can be assumed that the conclusions reached are generally accurate.

The multichannel approach is the best way for retailers to go about winning over customers today, with analysts revealing that people like to be able to use a variety of avenues to buy products. So those companies which deliver safe shopping online, but still retain a presence with real world stores, will be in an enviable position.

The authors of the report believe that over the course of 2013, about £9 billion in British sales were facilitated by multichannel retailers, according to Internet Retailing.

This is more than the £7 billion attributed to this area in Germany, showing that the UK is even more attuned to a combination of e-commerce and high street shopping.

The fact that eBay commissioned this report and has been looking to create more of a real world presence for itself in the UK and elsewhere, suggests that it is aware of the need to reach consumers on several planes.