Click & wear shoppers push growth in online retailing
As online shopping continues its rapid growth globally, retailers are rising to the challenge of online overseas shopping by increasing their internet presence, according to the latest research by global real estate adviser CBRE.
Its annual report, How Global is the Business of Retail?, surveyed 326 retailers in 22 countries and found that the online capability of global retailers is mature with 80% of retailers surveyed now having an online browsing catalogue. Luxury & Business and Value & Denim retailers are most likely to provide online catalogues at 92% and 87% respectively.
The UK was found to be the third most developed online market globally, with the proportion of retailers that can deliver goods bought online remaining at 44% over the last year.
Peter Gold, Head of EMEA Retail, CBRE, commented: “A change in our shopping behaviour has seen a boom in consumers shopping online. Online retailers such as ASOS are seeing growth, while big brand stores are ramping up their online offer. Sainsbury’s now offers its 'click and collect' service in 900 stores, while Next’s internet directory division reported an 11.8% year-on-year increase for the first quarter of 2012.
"International brands are also targeting UK shoppers aggressively and we are seeing stores now offering free shipping to entice new customers. Given this, it’s not surprising that the Royal Mail expects its business to be increasingly driven by online shopping in the coming years, while Yodel - the UK's largest parcel delivery company - has moved to change its service offering in the light of a dramatically growing e-commerce business and a huge increase in volumes around the Christmas period."
The CBRE research found that the Value & Denim sector is most likely to have an online delivery service in the UK – with 65% of retailers in this category providing online ‘buy and deliver’. This is followed by Luxury & Business (56%), Specialist Clothing (51%) and Mid-Range Fashion (46%).
Gold added: "While the wettest April on record may have dampened demand for summer fashion on the high street recently, clothing retailers such as Next, New Look, and River Island are still seeing year-on-year growth in online sales. Fashion retailers offer a desirable option on either price or brand value, which, combined with the added benefit of further discounts for buying online, appeals to a range of markets and consumer types - it’s the perfect platform for their merchandise."
Results from the report show that the presence of a physical store makes a significant difference to the ability of a retailer to deliver items bought online. In the UK, while 44% of retailers in the survey can deliver goods bought online, the figure is significantly higher at 81% for retailers with a physical store presence.
Neville Moss, head of EMEA Retail Research, commented: "The biggest driver in the globalisation of the retail sector is the growth of e-commerce and this will play an important role in shaping the demand for retail real estate in future. In terms of clicks versus bricks, current trends show that even in the most advanced retail markets, a physical store presence will remain a vital part of the equation for the most successful global retailers. Those retailers that succeed will continue to develop multiple channels and touchpoints for customers - stores, catalogues, online and social media - to maximise their sales."
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