Susanne Czech, secretary general of the European Multi-Channel and Online Trade Association (EMOTA), has stated that the online retail sector is currently “doing really well” across the continent.
A key driver of this trend is the expanding availability of internet services, particularly broadband, with better connected western European nations such as the UK seeing greater ecommerce uptake than countries in the east.
The rollout of web technology is benefiting sellers from a range of retail backgrounds, in addition to the “pure players” whose entire operating models are based upon online sales.
For example, many traditional distance sellers are seeking to develop their online channels at present, while high street chains are also looking to ecommerce as a means of complementing their physical stores.
Ms Czech also observed that a number of accessibility and usability benefits are driving up consumer interest in online retail.
She explained: “With online shops, you can offer bigger choices. People can shop 24/7 and a high street store has much more difficulties in Europe – in more conservative countries – in terms of opening hours.
“The internet obviously offers great convenience to consumers. The trend is more [towards] multi-channelling – people look for products in shops and then they go online or vice versa.”
Earlier this month, research from analysis firm Verdict suggested that online retail sales in the UK market have grown by 113 per cent over the last five years, a trend that is drawing business away from town centres and high streets.
This shift in buying habits is proving particularly clear in categories such as books, music and video – products that are well-suited to online retail.
This post was originally appeared in myHermes
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