Online shopping will surge by 29 per cent between now and 2018, with 70 per cent of shoppers seeking more innovative and rapid delivery options, according to a Barclays forecast, which expects food to replace books as the third highest sector, and an IMRG-Capgemini eRetail Sales Index is anticipating 17 per cent growth in online shopping for 2014.
According to a Barclays poll of 2,000 UK adults, 30 per cent of retailers are expected to use a click and collect service as their preferred delivery option, despite less than 20 per cent of consumers making use of these services in the last year.
Richard Lowe, head of retail & wholesale at Barclays, said: “Driven by the increasing use of tablet and mobile devices, almost seven in ten consumers say they are looking for more innovative and rapid delivery options such as Sunday delivery.
“Although they seek more flexibility in delivery options, consumers are still very conscious of keeping prices low with cost influencing consumers preference more than any other factor including quality of service.”
The IMRG-Capgemini eRetail Sales Index, which also polled 2,000 UK adults, says that 21 per cent of this year’s retail spend will be online, with an estimated value of £107bn, a year-on-year increase of £16bn.
Clothing & footwear is expected to remain the largest sector in online shopping, according to the Barclays poll. However, the result showed that over the four-year period, online food shopping would grow 20 per cent, with an estimated 186m deliveries per annum, superseding books as the third largest online sector.
The rising popularity of online subscription services is expected to result in a 39 per cent decline of digital downloads of music and film.
“Not only is the online purchasing and delivery market growing, it is also having to evolve quicker and more radically than previously,” said Lowe.
More than 30 per cent of retailers believe the rise of online shopping and delivery has had a detrimental effect on their costs.