Britain ahead of the curve when it comes to online shopping

Published on July 7th, 2013

iphoneBritain ahead of the curve when it comes to online shopping.

When I lived in the UK for some years in the early 2000’s I experienced first hand the future of shopping.

Budget airline Ryanair was the first airline I can remember selling it’s tickets exclusively online in the year 2000. Finally true e-commerce. At the time that seemed a very different and new concept! Absolutely no people to deal with in making an airline ticket purchase. But once you had booked a ticket online in this way, it would be impossible to go back to the old model.

Like most working people I was time poor so when Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s supermarkets first offered online grocery shopping I jumped at it.

In 2001, this was a godsend. One did not even need to own a car to navigate the congested London high streets to find a supermarket. I guess you could call me an early adopter to this online shopping revolution. And I have very rarely ever ventured into a supermarket since. When I moved back to Australia I simply migrated to Coles Online. Just like many other time poor Australian grocery shoppers.

And since moving back to Australia I have seen first hand the companies who have embraced whole heartily the inevitable online shopping revolution. I have also seen the companies who have completely missed this once in a lifetime opportunity to grow their businesses online. Or companies making the same mistakes time after time.But remember it is never too late!

Online shopping in the UK is somewhat more advanced in 2013.

Many of the big high street retailers including powerhouse John Lewis now account for a quarter of all their transactions taking place online.

John Lewis is sort of like a Myer of the UK just to give you some idea. A traditional bricks n mortar retailer who saw the online shopping opportunity and jumped at it. Just take a look at the John Lewis website on a smartphone and you will notice a simple cut down optimised mobile version. The website has been optimised to make it easy to navigate and buy from on a smartphone ot tablet.

And now UK companies like John Lewis deliver goods internationally- including Australia. According to The Age newspaper on Wednesday the 6th of February 2013:

Britain leads the way in internet shopping, with online sales making 10 per cent of all retail business in 2012, ahead of the United States, where about 7 per cent is online, and the rest of Europe. For Australia, the Commonwealth Bank reported late last year that online sales represent 5.4 per cent of retail sales. Britain’s online retail sector is rising rapidly too. This year it is expected to rise another 12 per cent to £87 billion ($A131 billion).’

How does mobile web browsing have an impact on online shopping?

It never ceases to surprise me how many Australian retailers or businesses in general have not seen or heard of the huge impact smartphones and tablets are having. Many haven’t yet bothered to optimise their websites for smartphone and tablet customers and clients.

If you are reading this and wondering about your company. It’s dead easy to find out. Just check your website stats. For example, Google Analytics and you will find a breakdown of smartphone and iPad visitors.

What ever your business optimise your website NOW!

If you would like Webtron to consult for your online e-commerce needs, contact our team.

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