People in the UK love to shop online
Nothing new, but numbers are still increasing with rapid speed. When I checked some data on the UK market, I was quiet surprised to see that the UK is leading in Europe when it comes to online shopping. According to IMRG, e-retailing sales in the UK will rise to an estimated 81 bn Euros in 2011. The current per capita spend of 1333 Euros per year bring the UK to spot number 1 in spending money online. This is definitely new for me, but well done UK and thank you for being such a great market. On a funny note, it seems like that the computer skills of online customers have evolved a lot, since this happened in 1999, When Online Shopping Flops.
(This happened to a friend who worked as tech support at an ISP around 1999.)
Me: “Thanks for calling [ISP] how can I help you?”
Customer: “Hi, I was buying this skin care cream online, and then something happened. I need you to send someone here!”
Me: “Alright, Ma’am, can you tell me what happened?”
Customer: “The internet swallowed my credit card!”
Me: “I see, can you describe how it happened?”
Customer: “I put the cream in the basket, clicked the checkout option and then it said it was going to ask for my credit card on the next step, then it simply swallowed it!”
(I go through 10 minutes of attempts to try and find out what actually happened, before sending someone over. It turns out she inserted the credit card inside the Floppy Drive to pay the order.)
Great figures for the businesses, but what does the customer think. Personally, I buy a lot of things online, but not everything. I stick to tickets for flights, buses and other transportation, the occasional book from amazon, from time to time some Tesco shopping. I recently even started to play some lottery online, so that I at least have a little chance to win the Euromillions at one point!!!
In general, the online shopping experience is more or less the same when you look at the actual website and so on. However, there are big differences when it comes to services that are related to online shopping – the delivery! I have to agree with an article I read in the guardian about online shopping in the UK that the customer service in regards to delivery is better from Tesco, where you have the option of choosing your 2 hour slot for delivery, than with deliveries from amazon or other online retailers, where you never know when they will turn up or at least don’t have a choice. This seems to be a big aspect for most online customers. This might also have helped Tesco to claim spot number 3 on the top 100 hot list of online retailers according to the IMRG. Surprising, not really!!!
But what are you as a reader thinking about the delivery of your online shopping. Now, I would like to give you a chance to have your say on which delivery options you as a customer prefer most.
Going back to the business side of things… I am very grateful for the above mentioned figures and I am happy that excellent customer service with delivery times of your choice are important for customers. This knowledge will also give me and my business the opportunity to strive now and in future years to come with delivering to my customer’s doorstep without any surcharge and a delivery time that will suit them.