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Online shopping set to peak today: insights into the way we shop

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Online shopping is expected to peak today following the Bank Holiday weekend, according to research.

Analysis from digital commerce solutions provider Venda looked at online spending on spring Bank Holidays over the last two years. It found that while shoppers spent 17% more on the Monday, compared to the average for the two weeks prior to the holiday, they spent 33% more on the Tuesday of the Bank Holiday week. Venda is calling this the Tiptop Tuesday effect.

But the peak comes after a trough, since typically, spending falls by 16% and 12% respectively over the Saturday and Sunday of a long weekend.

“Whether ‘Tiptop Tuesday’ is down to consumers browsing over the long weekend and making a purchase once they’re back at work or that they are looking to use a little retail therapy to stave off the post-Bank Holiday blues, the opportunity for retailers is clear,” said Eric Abensur, group chief executive of Venda.

Meanwhile, research from search and recommendations software specialist Apptus puts figures on the perception that shoppers are changing their behaviour, buying online more often while visiting the high street less.

Some 59% of the 508 people questioned by Harris Interactive researchers for the Apptus Online Shopping Research Report said that they shopped online more often than they did a year ago, while only 9% did so less often. But 38% said they bought from shops less often, while 12% did so more often.

But of those who bought online, 14% said they did so every day while 15% did so once a month. Some 31% said they shopped over the internet about once a week.

The study also found that 26% of consumers were using more electronic devices to shop online than they did a year ago, while 5% were using fewer. When it came to purchasing, shoppers were more likely to use laptops than fixed PCs to research and buy online, but the two devices were more likely to be used for online shopping than tablets or smartphones.

Most people (88%) said they had favourite websites that they use all the time, and 88% also said those favourites were based on the positive impression they got the first time they used them, and that a positive experience made them more likely to be loyal shoppers. Finally, 61% said half or more of the online stores they use ‘remember’ them, making 63% more loyal as a result. Some 69% said they were more likely to re-visit a store that remembered them.

Finally, Barclaycard analysis to mark the 30th anniversary of online shopping suggests that UK households will spend £4,000 online this year, as the internet takes a 20% share of all retail spending. It analysed the credit and debit card transactions that it handles to find that online spending now accounts for a fifth of all UK card spend and is growing by 11% a year. IMRG has already predicted £107bn will be spent online in the UK this year, working out at an average of £4,000 per household. It also says a third of UK online sales are made on a mobile device.

Chris Wood, managing director of Barclaycard, said: “Online shopping has come a long way since it first emerged in 1984 and now accounts for one in every five pounds spent on credit and debit cards in the UK. More and more of us are turning to the web to research, compare prices and buy everything from cinema trips and electronics to the latest fashions, making it an inextricable part of modern retail.

“The music and airline industries are prime examples of where businesses have fully embraced the potential of the internet and have made it their main source of business. These sectors show it is vital for retailers to move quickly to keep pace with their customers’ desire to shop online, where they can build deeper relationships and engage with customers, or they risk being left behind.”

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