Feeds

Blighty internet shopping goes ballistic

As young women become dominant UK online group. Coincidence?

Boost IT visibility and business value

UK shoppers are abandoning the high street and going online in droves, according to the latest figures from the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), the industry body.

April net sales were up a thumping 55 per cent on last year at £3.47bn, taking the total web-receipts count since 1995 into 12 figures. The IMRG numbers people reckon that annual sales will hit £42bn this year, and fully £78bn (20 per cent of all retail sales) by 2010. They say many sellers have yet to move online, giving the sector plenty of room to grow.

Naturally enough, the spread of broadband is seen as having driven the internet shopping revolution. Typical home net connections are now always-on and better than 1Mbit/sec, compared to the rickety 14.4kbit dial-up of yesteryear.

Traditional online staples such as travel and electrical goods continue to stand high in the ratings, but other sectors are developing fast. Many consumers who would previously only buy cheaper items like books and CDs via the internet have become comfortable with purchasing white goods and furniture this way. Others were already more than willing to make big-ticket buys like new computers using their existing machines.

In particular, the natural tendency for gadget lovers to buy online has caused some heartache for the high-street providers. Notably, Dixons has decided to pull out of the town centres and focus on internet sales.

Meanwhile, less obvious categories such as clothes, accessories, and shoes are expanding rapidly, according to the IMRG. This trend could be related to the revelation (pdf) this week by Nielsen/NetRatings that the dominant group of UK residents on the internet is now women aged 18-34, rather than the more normal model of socially-challenged young men.

No doubt the geeks are still there, but as the internet has moved into mainstream society it appears they are now outnumbered online by young women lusting for shoes, handbags, and gladrags. That said, the NetRatings data is tricky to reconcile with that from the IMRG, as it appears that the ladies-who-surf typically favour parenting sites rather than ones offering cut price Manolo Blahniks.

It may be that the online surge by women of childbearing age has more to do with maternity leave than it does with 360-degree Flash shoe porn. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.