Consumers still leaning towards online shopping, despite cost of living crisis

The ongoing cost of living crisis is not deterring consumers from shopping online, according to a new report from Opinium and Digital River.

The research reveals that 17% of consumers are struggling financially and 35% are just ‘getting by’.

However, only 8% said that they were looking to shop more on the high street, with 22% anticipating to shop online more frequently in future.

In addition, 33% have shopped online more often in the past six months, compared to just 9% that have ventured in-store more often.

Despite 58% of shoppers reducing their spending on non-essential items in the last six months, 47% still make at least one online transaction a week.

According to the report, an essential factor in the success of ecommerce lies in lower prices and an ability to track and compare price changes.

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As such, 29% of UK online shoppers state that it is easier to track prices online than in person, while 29% of those planning to shop online more claim that items being cheaper online is driving them to buy this way.

The report also states that 15% of UK adults are using BNPL services for online shopping, with 59% doing so to stretch their budget further.

Two thirds of BNPL users have used this method more in the past six months, with 49% saying this is due to their tighter financial situation.

At the same time, however, 41% of online shoppers state that online purchases would be among the first things to cut if they needed to reduce their spending.

“We’ve seen how inflation has impacted our economy: consumers told us they are decreasing their spending across the board, most notably on special occasions, including holiday shopping and vacations,” Digital River chief revenue officer Ted Rogers said.

“However, our research has shown the pace of online spending isn’t expected to slow down despite the squeeze on finances.

“Brands must ensure they have optimised their digital stores to make the shopping journey as transparent and friction-free as possible, making sure consumers aren’t surprised by any extra costs.”

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