E-commerce to grow 14% in 2009

Consumers are set to spend in excess of £68.4bn online in 2009, an increase of 14.4% on last year, with more people shopping from home as they seek to avoid the stress of crowds, according to research by e-Marketer.

According to e-Marketer, most online retailers will continue to court shoppers with money-off promotions and discounted delivery charges, which will lead to internet users spending longer online, exploring their options and seeking value for money.

Major online retailers that upgrade to offer true multichannel shopping and delivery/return options, as well as value for money, are expected to gain market share, while a number of second-rank e-shops will stagnate or go out of business.

At least one supermarket chain is expected to experiment with large-scale email distribution of promotional coupons for grocery products bought in-store, according to e-Marketer.

The researcher also predicts that UK online ad spending will pass £3.5bn in 2009, despite the current financial and political uncertainties.

Some marketers targeting the less affluent, adults aged 65 and older, and residents in the Midlands and north of the country are expected to cut back on online ad spend and concentrate their efforts on traditional media as these demographics will continue to lag behind the national norms for internet access and online activities.

Separately, e-Marketer predicts transparency, customer insight and service to be major themes for advertisers to employ this year as UK consumers are becoming increasingly displeased with companies "selling them lies while putting personal and corporate gain above decency".

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