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Study finds that online shopping channel reaching maturity but growth still strong

A study undertaken by consumer insight company Transactis has revealed that the internet boom is starting to level off as online is close to full maturity as a shopping channel.

The Transactis Home Shopping Index comes out of figures from the Transactis customer base – all the transactions of 39 million customers across 205 brands over the last five years – so gives an accurate representation of the current stance of online shopping. The report found that although online shopping growth is still strong, it is without the exponential increases of a couple of years ago.

In this feature article we take a look at the report’s main findings, which include the following insights:

  • Online shopping grew by just 8% year-on-year last year compared to nearly 60% in 2007
  • It appears to have picked up again slightly in 2011 with a 14% rise in the first half of the year -- still far behind its mid-2000s peak
  • There is far less scope for future online growth as 83% of home shoppers under age 35 (where most of the growth was coming from) are already internet buyers, making 80% of their purchases via the web

Michael Green, director of insight at Transactis, also provides analysis and comment on the figures revealed by the index, saying: “The customer journey has become a more subtle and complex process, led by the web. The range of influences and options consumers employ today – made ever more complicated by the opportunities opened to shoppers by smartphones, tablets and other portable devices – means that, for retailers, tracking and making sense of customer behaviour in the multi-channel landscape is no easy task. As the range of touch points grows, and economic unease lingers, it is perhaps more important than ever for retailers to pull together, analyse and use all customer data they have to hand in order to make sense of the behaviour of customers choosing to shop from home – and effectively target them with appropriate marketing communications and offers.”

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