Britain becoming world leader in online shopping

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KPMG survey finds UK consumers now prefer shopping online to in store.

UK consumers are among the world’s most enthusiastic online shoppers according to KPMG’s latest Consumer & Convergence Report.

UK consumers and businesses are ahead of other advanced nations when it comes to adopting new retail technologies. They are also more price-conscious when it comes to choosing new devices and services, and appear more concerned about privacy and security.

Shopping online is now preferable to heading into shops for several categories of goods and services, the survey found. In the UK, 74% percent of consumers said they were more likely to buy flights and vacations online, while 77% prefer to buy CDs, DVDs, books and video games online.

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However, the majority of respondents said they prefer to purchase luxury goods in store and four in ten consumers still seem to shun online grocery shopping.

The survey reveals the extent to which smartphones and tablets are changing shopping behaviour. When shopping at retail outlets, 45% of UK respondents said they now use their mobile devices to locate the nearest store, 32% to research products and services, 30% for online coupons and one in five scan in barcodes for product information.

When buying products or services the majority of customers in the UK and globally consult feedback and ratings pages on the internet or get information on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Monitoring and managing third party information sources will therefore be a key element of any digital sales strategy.

The lead researcher of the KPMG report, Tudor Aw comments: “From buying goods on their mobile phones to keeping up with friends on social networks, consumers are increasingly reliant on a range of technologies that perform important – yet often overlapping – tasks. This new ‘converged lifestyle’ will have huge implication for retailers. The integration of various channels will become increasingly important as retailers begin to see many of their consumers move to online and application-based purchases. As the ubiquitous smartphones empowers the consumer retailers will need to understand the opportunities and risks that mobile devices present.”

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