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Online Shopping habits of UK consumers

01 March 2011 - 09:42 by Simon Crisp

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A new survey conducted by Shoppercentric has identified the various changing trends in the world of e-commerce, identifying a number of growth areas and indicating that the importance of m-commerce is gradually being accepted by retailers and brands.

A third of respondents said that they regularly visited brand websites when they wanted to buy a product, compared with three quarters who said they went straight for the retailers which they trusted to provide them with safe shopping online.

The growth of smartphone ownership was outlined, although men are leading the way with 38 per cent of male respondents owning a high end mobile compared with 29 per cent of females.

Using applications which allow for consumers to participate in safe shopping online from their phones is also dominated by men, with 14 per cent accessing m-commerce services while eight per cent of women said that they do the same.

Although m-commerce is a big hitter amongst men, the study revealed that women are more likely to connect with a brand or a retailer if it is presented to them via social networking.

The consumers were asked why they thought retailers and brands might want to use social networking to connect with their audience and 43 per cent said that it was simply an act of jumping on the bandwagon.

These findings suggest that e-commerce firms need to do more to engage with consumers and actually use the tools of social networking in order to create relevant, interesting content rather than harnessing the likes of Facebook and Twitter simply as a form of glorified advertising of a traditional variety.

Many retailers and brands will be vying for consumer attention via mobiles and social networking in the coming years, but consumers still need to be convinced that they are getting something out of the relationship.