Online Shopping is Retailers’ Best Bet Pitney Bowes Report Points to Multiple Opportunities for Growth

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International research from Pitney Bowes into consumer trends in shopping and shipping online, highlights multiple opportunities for British retailers equipped to target an international audience.

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International research from Pitney Bowes into consumer trends in shopping and shipping online, highlights multiple opportunities for British retailers equipped to target an international audience.

At a time of economic uncertainty, consumers in UK, France, Germany and the US revealed that their online purchase of every product type has increased over the last 12 months, with double digit growth in books, clothes, shoes, magazines, groceries, electronics, movies and beauty products.

Pitney Bowes' Director for Shipping Peter Ellis, said, “The research has revealed a complexity to consumer attitudes that every retailer should take in to consideration. The online market is stronger than ever but it can only be exploited by those who are equipped with the right knowledge and technologies. The research underlines the value of ongoing expert communication such as Customer Communication Management.”

The strongest market appears to be the UK, where consumers are more likely than elsewhere to purchase their goods online. The three most commonly purchased items in Britain are books (66%) and clothes (68%), followed by electrical goods (49%). In each case these figures were significantly higher than the other countries surveyed where the average figures were 61 per cent, 61 per cent and 37 per cent respectively.

In comparison with the other countries individually, British shoppers topped the charts in six categories, being the most likely to buy groceries (47%), movies (42%), toys (36%), video games (33%), DIY products (22%) and craft products (16%). However, the UK’s consumers were least likely to buy items such as electronics and magazines. The online grocery shopping market in the UK is twice the size of that in any other market and is set for future expansion over the next five years.    

Online purchase of pharmaceuticals in Germany is significantly higher than in other regions, which may be explained by the hugely discounted prices offered by German sites. US consumers are the most likely to buy magazines and health supplements.

Peter Ellis said, “The good news is that the online market is open to all businesses, not just the large and established and there is growth across the board. However, businesses do need to look beyond the delivery mechanisms, to really understand and service an international audience effectively.”

For more information about how Pitney Bowes Customer Communications Management solutions helps brands delight customers across all channels, visit their website.

The full findings of the research are available in a Pitney Bowes Report Consumer Trends in Shopping and Shipping Online available at the Pitney Bowes' Media Centre.

Notes to editors:

  •     Survey methodology: Online survey, 1,000 respondents in each territory (UK, France, Germany and US)
  •     Ecommerce sales are predicted to reach $963bn globally by 2013, growing at an annual rate of 19.4% (Goldman Sachs in JP Morgan’s annual ‘Nothing but Net: 2011’ Internet Investment Guide on digital commerce)
  •     Value of online retail spending in Western Europe is $122billion (Amazon – channel Advisor EU Catalyst – May 2011)
  •     UK has 37 million online shoppers (The Interactive Media in Retail Group – July 2011)


For more information, interviews or an image, please contact James Harris at Lucre Public Relations on 0208 741 5900 or pitneybowes(at)lucre(dot)co(dot)uk

About Pitney Bowes
Delivering more than 90 years of invention, Pitney Bowes provides software, hardware and services that integrate physical and digital communications channels. Long known for making its customers more productive, Pitney Bowes is increasingly helping other companies grow their business through advanced customer communications management. Pitney Bowes is a $5.3 billion company with 29,000 employees worldwide. Pitney Bowes: Every connection is a new opportunity™.

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James Harris
Pitney Bowes Limited
0208 741 5900
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