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UK consumers avoid online confectionary purchases

07 October 2013 - 16:32 by Graham Miller

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While most people in Britain are fans of buying confectionery items from bricks and mortar stores, a new report from Kantar Media has found that this trend does not translate to the online market.

Ninety one percent of the adults questioned in the study said that they buy some form of confectionery on a regular basis, while just over a tenth of UK consumers actually visit websites related to this type of product, with six per cent eventually pulling the trigger and buying confectionery via safe shopping online.

While this might sound like bad news for the industry, given the ever increasing influence of e-commerce, the analysts actually believe that this indicates a real opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the gap in the market and make online confectionary sales a mainstream activity.

Report spokesperson, Sandy Livingstone, identified a number of the reasons for the discrepancy in online and offline sales, pointing out that consumers engage with confectionery on an emotional and visual level, which is why it works so well in stores and not on the web.

However, he also argued that while buying groceries online had originally involved the purchase of mostly non-perishable items, this was beginning to change, which could be beneficial for confectionery companies.

Livingstone said that the things which could help to boost online sales of this type of product include automatic repeat purchases, which refill e-commerce baskets with the same items each week, as well as the use of smartphone apps, which can increase impulse purchasing.

Retailers are not currently prioritising the online sale of confectionery because of the low volumes, although analysts found that Tesco was leading the pack, which could result in a sea change in strategies that shake up the wider marketplace.