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Urban shoppers ramp up their online shopping

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41% of city dwellers have increased their reliance on online shopping over the last year, despite having easy access to local shops, according to a report compiled for PayPal by The Future Laboratory.

The report ‘Online Retail: The New Consumer Demands’ also reveals that quicker, more reliable home delivery services (16%) and greater choice (12%) has helped persuade an estimated 15.6 million people living in urban city areas to move more of their shopping online over the last 12 months.

Cities such as Glasgow and Greater Manchester, which have seen significant high street closures, have also seen a bigger switch to online shopping over the last 12 months than other cities across the UK. Six in ten adults in Glasgow have started shopping more online in the last year, and half of adults in the Manchester area have done the same. Their change in shopping behaviour was higher than the national city average, where four in ten adults increased their online shopping over the last year. Shoppers in London, Cardiff and Bristol have also increased their reliance on online shopping significantly over the last year.

Even those adults living right in the heart of busy cities, with high streets and shopping centres on their doorsteps, have increased their online shopping over the last year. Almost half (49%) of those living in city centres have done so, with one in seven of those choosing to do so because home delivery services have become more reliable and convenient.

“High streets across Britain have been hit by the recession; and many local shops in large cities have closed down,” says Carl Scheible, PayPal UK’s managing director. “Shoppers have, as a result, increasingly turned to the internet, where retailers offer a wider range of goods often at a better price as they no longer have the same costs as high street stores.”

“Almost half of adults living in busy city centres now shop online more than a year ago, a trend which looks set to continue, especially as we love the convenience of having our shopping brought to our door, rather than having to carry heavy bags through Christmas crowds,” he added.

Readers can download the full report from PayPal’s website.

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