A significant slowing of growth in online shopping is on the cards, thanks to the maturity of the market and increased competition.
Retail consultancy Verdict predicts that spending on the internet will continue to increase by more than 56% to £35bn over the next four years, and will outpace the rest of retail.
However, the rate of increase will slow from some 35% a year over the last decade to 12% a year between 2009 and 2014. And there will only be 4m more online shoppers in the UK – 32.5m in total – by 2014 than there are now
Most potential lies within the 15 to 24 and 55+ age groups, says Verdict. To attract the younger shoppers retailers must focus on the use of pictures, video and mobile, while the older group wants a focus on service and trusted brands.
Malcolm Pinkerton, senior retail analyst at Verdict, said: “With the number of people shopping online becoming highly saturated, retailers will have to change and evolve their online strategies. Driving loyalty and increasing spend per head across all age groups will become vital factors to ensure growth.”