YouGov: 90% of shoppers have bought online in last six months

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Nine out of 10 consumers have bought items online – either on a computer or mobile device – in the past six months, according to research by YouGov SixthSense.

While using a computer is the default means of shopping online, using a mobile device is a much more niche activity, the study found.

Those adults who are the most likely to own the latest gadgets and have the most positive attitudes towards modern technology are also the most likely to have engaged in electronic retailing, especially when using a mobile device, said YouGov SixthSense.

Purchases of books or DVDs and clothing/fashion items are the most common electronic retailing activities undertaken by consumers as a whole, it adds.

The prevalence of online shopping shows retailers now have to compete in a multi-channel environment, meaning consumer expectations of service, prices and delivery are based on being able to switch one channel for another as well as one shop for another, said YouGov SixthSense.

If one channel/store fails to live up to expectations, demand can be switched to another. This is especially so in non‐grocery markets, where consumers are very willing to switch the source of purchase based purely on price, highly likely to use more than one retailer for purchases and likely to use a different retailer for electronic and bricks and mortar shopping, said researchers.

“Retailers will have to work even harder in future to stop consumers moving elsewhere. As today’s younger consumer ages, they will become even more intolerant of delays and won’t waste time taking their business elsewhere,” said YouGov SixthSense research director James McCoy.

According to the study, a price differential of 9‐10% between stores will prompt a shopper to switch from the higher‐priced store to the lower‐priced store when buying a product sold in both outlets.

While 60‐70% of adults are not prepared to pay any extra in order to get a product immediately rather than wait a few days for online delivery, around one in four to one in three consumers might be tempted to switch an online order for a store visit, if the price is right.