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UK e-commerce market is world-leading

06 August 2014 - 11:58 by Sarah Collinson

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A new report from PwC, commissioned by the FTA, has found that the UK is still a world leader when it comes to shopping online. And this trend is having a marked impact on many parts of the economy.

The study found that each week almost a third of consumers use an e-commerce site to order goods and services, with mobile devices like smartphones and tablets playing an increasingly important role in online shopping. In fact, analysts predict that by 2017, a quarter of all e-commerce transactions will take place via a portable device.

Although online sales are obviously helping retailers to expand into new markets and take advantage of the fact that consumers are spending more and more of their time using web-enabled devices, there are other pieces of this puzzle that need to be considered, to get a rounded view of things.

The PwC report looks at how the logistics industry is being impacted, because, of course, consumers now have expectations about how quickly they should be able to receive the items they buy via safe shopping online, as well as the convenience of taking delivery of these products.

Click & collect is helping to ease some of the pressure that is being put on the transport industry, although retailers still need to predict which items customers will order and ship them out to stores, so that there is not a long wait required if demand exceeds supply.

Such juggling acts have always been carried out by retailers, but they are becoming intensified as a result of e-commerce growth. And with the market often exceeding expectations, it pays to shop with outlets that are not only offering a good deal, but also capable of ensuring a range of punctual delivery options are available.