Online shopping trend showing no signs of slowing down

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shoppingStop press: On 2nd December, SmartCompany reported that $1.25 billion was spent online on ‘Cyber Monday‘ this year (the online equivalent of the January sales). Only the second billion-dollar spending day on record after – you guessed it – Cyber Monday 2010.

Online Sales Steadily Increase

While the retail sector continues to report sluggish trade, the number of Australians turning to shopping online is just going up and up.

A joint report published at the end of October from Forrester Research, Nielsen and the Australian Centre for Retail Studies shows some very worrying trends for bricks and mortar only businesses.

The report estimates online commerce in 2011 to finish up at around $30.2 billion, up from $27 billion in 2010. Of this, travel accounted for $4.6 billion of that spend and groceries around $5 million in 2010.

The fastest growing sectors for online shopping were found to be clothing, accessories, footwear, and online music & video. The report also showed that 27% of online spending in Australia goes to international online retailers, with the average Australian Internet user buying around 20 items on the net every year.

Information from a recent survey of its 1.7 million monthly visitors by comparison shopping website Getprice, indicates that most online shoppers are married females, and that they are mainly buying books, DVDs, toys, travel items and accessories.

The main reason cited in the responses for using the internet for shopping was to get the best price, although those surveyed also liked the fact that the internet makes comparing prices very easy. Not a surprising response from visitors to Getprice, perhaps.

Don’t miss the online sales boat

As consumers slowly migrate online for a wide variety of purchasing, thankfully it is actually getting easier and less expensive to set up an online presence with ecommerce facilities. In a future article we will show you how.

Another trend highlighted by both surveys is the move to using mobile devices to access the web (47% of those surveyed by Getprice used a mobile device for internet access), so it’s also important that your website is easily accessible this way (see our recent article 12 Web Improvements for 2012 which talks about this).

There are many things you need to get right to make your online presence really work for you and generate sales, and we’ll be covering all of these in future articles, but one thing is for sure – if you do not have an effective presence online, you will certainly be losing out to savvier online competitors and missing out on a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.

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