Buying stuff online is an everyday occurrence and by ‘stuff’ we mean, well, pretty much anything our consuming hearts desire.
Books, music, clothes, organic Japanese food, military tank (yes, really, mplcontact found it on eBay today and was sorely tempted…) all available to you from the comfort of your La-Z-Boy recliner, which you also probably bought online.
But what we didn’t realise was the extent to which the combination of a credit card limit with several zeros and our reluctance to leave our armchair has lead to the growth of this form of retail therapy: for 2013-2014 online retail in the UK is set to grow at 15.8% compared to a lowly 2.4% for bricks and mortar retailing.
As we read the “Online Retailing: Britain, Europe and the US 2014“ report produced by the folks over at the Centre For Retail Research our jaws dropped. Here are some stats to boggle at:
- In 2013, our average online spend per shopper was £924
- Total UK online sales in 2013 came to £38.8Bn – yes, that’s Billion
- For 2013-2015, 67% of Brits will go e-shopping, some 42 million of us.
Now we know that stats can be manipulated to suit the point the research author or sponsor is trying to prove, but even if we casually knock off a couple of £Billion from that 2013 online sales figure, it still leaves a whole load of spending that your business should be benefitting from.
If you haven’t quite got your virtual shop front in order and the thought of dealing with high volumes of online transactions in a secure fashion fills you with terror, do not panic. The most important thing your armchair shopper wants is still good old fashioned customer service; a prompt and helpful reply to their email enquiry, an efficient web chat facility and a friendly, knowledgeable person to greet to their (good, old fashioned) telephone call.
Get these building blocks of customer service right and your reputation will guarantee you a share of those £Billions.
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