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Brits lead in European online shopping

News, 27 January 2015

LONDON: British online shoppers are set to spend 43% more than the European average during 2015 according to a new report that suggests investment in improving the shopper experience and better targeting are paying off.

An international study by RetailMeNot, a marketplace for digital offers, covered eight European markets – France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK – as well the US and Canada, with 100 major retailers and 9,000 consumers being interviewed.

It said online sales would account for 15.2% of all consumer retail sales in the UK in 2015 and would total £52.25bn, a 16.2% increase on the previous year.

Average sales per British shopper are forecast to be £1,174, a rise of 9.6% on 2014 and well ahead of the European average of £820.

Further, Britons are predicted to shop online more often in 2015, with 21.2 purchases compared to 18.8 in 2014, making them the most frequent online shoppers in Europe.

Average spend per transaction, however, will fall slightly, down 3% to an average of £55.36. In comparison, Swedes will make only 10.4 online purchases but spend the highest amount per transaction, at £56.43.

Germany and Poland are the two fastest growing markets in terms of spend per shopper, with the former set to increase 14.9% to £1,023, and the latter 14.2% from a much lower base to hit £206, the lowest figure of any country considered..

Giulio Montemagno, svp/International at RetailMeNot, noted that in addition to Britons shopping online more frequently, their overall numbers continued to grow, so that 65.5% of them now shop on the web.

He further observed that strong growth online was compensating for falling sales in-store in all markets surveyed. Across Europe, store-based sales are projected to fall by 1.4%, but this will be more than offset by an 18.4% increase in online sales.

"Although in-store sales appear to be falling, many retailers are bucking the trend by embracing technology to better engage consumers," Montemagno said.

"In 2015, we expect to see even more retailers take advantage of mobile and further testing of beacon technology to target consumers while they are on the go, as well as in-store, by making the shopping experience more relevant."

Data sourced from RetailMeNot; additional content by Warc staff