The practice of shopping has changed beyond all recognition in recent years. With a huge development in online stores and a range of benefits to shopping online rather than in-store. Whether you want to shop from the comfort of your own home, or have no time to fit in going to the shops in your busy schedule, being online allows on the go shopping. With the new convenience, what does this mean for the future of the UK’s shopping habits?
The Rise Of The Internet For Retailers
Since its early development, who would have thought that the internet would have gone on to dominate the world and become such an integral part of our lives? Everything from how we watch videos to how we interact with people has changed. This shift has not left the retail industry unscathed, as many shoppers are now preferring to shop online rather than in a physical store. With a huge rise in online sales over the past year, statistics show that almost 9 in 10 people (87% ) had shopped online in 2020 – one of the biggest rises in online shopper numbers in over 10 years.
Many retailers have adapted to consumer demands by offering online stores in addition to their physical counterparts; and many are now even being created solely for an online, virtual audience. This increase in the number of shops available online has led to massive decreases in people shopping in-store compared to online, with the convenience of being able to shop from their own homes.
Grabbing Your Bargains In-Store And Online
Although stores often show their sales in windows, it doesn’t quite compare to the continuous discounts and offers that are projected across almost every online retail site. From free shipping to large discounts available, subscribed users never miss a bargain when shopping online, and as UK online shopping habits show; almost a third of shoppers are ‘bargain hunters’ who search for discount codes and vouchers when buying items online. After all, who wouldn’t want to save on their monthly shopping spree?
With discount and promotional codes widely available to use at the end of the checkout process, the bargains often don’t match the once in a while sales you find in-store. When asked, many consumers said that their main reason for shopping online was to compare prices , showing that even though our method of shopping may have changed, we still at heart are a nation desperate to grab a bargain.
Becoming A Cashless Society: The Rise Of Contactless Payments
As time goes on, the change from paper money and physical coins to credit cards and contactless payments result in becoming a more cashless society. But what does this mean for retail? Whether you are shopping in-store or online, it is evident that many shoppers are now preferring to use cashless methods. With the speed and lack of effort required to simply tap your card on the card reader, it is without doubt that contactless payment is the easiest payment method for a straightforward shopping experience.
Instead of having to make sure you have the correct amount, counting out the change and making sure you get the right amount back, now you can simply wave your phone or card in front of the machine as the correct total is paid – all within about 30 seconds. This method of payment proves popular, as customers can pay via card, phone, watch, keyfob or stickers. In the UK, up to 34% of debit card transactions are now contactless and also 43% of credit card payments are. With more and more transactions being contactless, there is a clear change happening in the way we pay for things everyday.
The security involved in contactless payments is also a big preference for many, especially in a time where online security threats are increasing. Contactless payments are often more secure as they are fitted with anti-fraud technology. In cases where you lose your card or it is stolen, contactless has a limit of spending no more than £45 at a time, to protect your bank account from larger purchases being made.
Shopping has become decidedly more technological, with online and technology-dependent shopping methods quickly becoming the firm favourite. As technology continues to advance and adapt rapidly, it’s also likely that shopping will become even more technologically driven. Whether we are buying online without a contactless card or in the small corner shop with cash, we Brits still love shopping, looking for a bargain, and finding that perfect product.