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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 12, 2010

eCommera: Brits spend $111 per month online

Almost half of U.K. consumers shop online at least once a week, found a new survey from U.K.-based eCommera, but many avoid websites with poor images and product descriptions. Online retailers must optimize their websites if they are to attract and retain customers, particularly in light of the upcoming holiday shopping season.

by Helen Leggatt

eCommeraLogoNoStrapLine.pngRecent reports show a growth in retail sales in the U.K., 20% according to the latest IMRG Gapgemini e-Retail Sales Index, as many consumers head online to make purchases.

According to eCommera's recent survey of 2,000 U.K shoppers, almost 43% of consumers in Britain now make a purchase online at least once a week and they spend, on average, $111 per month.

Most (60%) believe that better bargains can be found online and over half (51%) enjoy the convenience of having items delivered. In addition:

- 39% believe there is more choice online
- 28% prefer the ease of shopping from home or work
- 19% don't like the experience of shopping in-store or in the High Street
- 2% feel safer shopping online.

Their penchant for online shopping doesn't stop them being critical. Websites with poor images and products descriptions are a real turn off for 42% while poor navigation (32%), security concerns/out-of-stock items (26%), lack of contact details (18%) and an overly-long checkout process (16%) were also quoted as annoyances.

Even post-purchase experiences can dictate whether or not a consumer returns to an online store. Items that aren't as described or are delivered late and poor after-sales service would deter many from a return visit.

Of course, when one person has a bad experience they tell many others, and vice versa. Of the 2,000 respondents nearly three-quarters decided on a website to purchase from due to a recommendation from a friend or family member.

The number drops to 35% relying on search engines, 21% for advertising via media such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and 13% for online advertising.

Another 46% said that they sought out the website of a store that already had an established presence on the High Street.

"This report shows signs of positive growth and I think it will encourage retailers to take their online strategy more seriously," said Andrew McGregor, CEO of ecommerce specialist firm, eCommera. "They need to have measures in place to monitor and manage critical elements and decide how to optimize their sites. For most retailers repeat purchase is the engine of profitable growth."

Tags: e-commerce, High Street, online retail, online spending, U.K., website optimization, word-of-mouth

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