The growing popularity of smartphones including the iPhone is boosting internet shopping the world over. In the UK, for instance, almost £1 in every £10 spent by shoppers now involves online purchases
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed on Friday that Britons spent an average of £539 million each week in September on online purchases, out of total sales of £5.61 billion. The 9.6-per cent share that online sales have generated is the biggest so far and more than three times bigger than the three per cent share online sales had in 2007.
Online sales in the UK have shot up by 30 per cent over the last one year. Even established, brick and mortar retailers such as Next and Debenhams claim online sales have shot up sharply. Debenhams, for instance, is setting up 650 internet kiosks to encourage shoppers to place orders online.
IMRG, a web store trade body, has forecast that total online sales will grow by 16 per cent in 2011. Online sales of clothing, lingerie and home and garden products had done exceptionally well in September.
According to the ONS, internet purchase of clothing and footwear were up by 21 per cent, as against a 2.1 per cent fall in sales for brick and mortar outlets.
International consultancy Gartner estimates that by 2013, 80 per cent of North American and European online sellers will expand into BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies and Africa. It projects that by 2014 there will be more than 70 billion mobile application downloads from app stores every year.