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The Case For Online Shopping
We all know that online shopping has been steadily increasing in the UK in recent years. The statistics argue a strong case for making sure your store is online to serve your customers where ever they look for you. In response to demand from retailers and Symbol groups, The Retail Data Partnership now offers our retailer customers an integrated solution for their customers’ need to be able to shop online. Our solution is called Basket. Basket has been devised to make it easy for independent stores to get online and offer e-shopping and e-delivery. The reasons for the increase in online shopping are varied:
  • availability and lower cost of devices
  • ease of using apps
  • better broadband and Wi-Fi services
  • the wider choice offered to consumers
According to, more than 50% of the UK is now shopping online. Even the over 65’s are exploring internet shopping, with 70% of people in that age bracket now going online. A July 2020 report by Waitrose “How Britain Shops Online Food and Drink Edition” states that 77% of people now do at least some of their grocery shopping online, compared with 61% a year ago.

We all have more devices in our homes than ever before – from mobile phones and tablets, to smart lightbulbs, cameras, doorbells and interactive speakers. The ease with which we can reach for a device to purchase something means we’re doing it more frequently, and next day deliveries mean we needn’t wait too long for the item to arrive.

Dedicated apps have made it easy for consumers to understand how to access the services of their chosen retailer, and build trust with wary first-time online shoppers. Apps have also enabled the less tech-savvy shopper to use their tablet or smartphone without navigating search engines and websites to locate services. 71% of all time spent online in 2020 is on a smartphone. In April 2020, internet users in the UK spent an average of 4 hours 2 minutes online each day, 37 minutes more compared with January 2020. Increased time on a device means increased viewing of advertising, driving further spending.

The closure of non-essential retail for Covid-19 encouraged more people to search online for items they might ordinarily have ventured out to the high street to find. In many cases this meant shoppers discovered local suppliers they had not previously purchased from; local butchers and farm shops supplied homes with fresh food deliveries when supermarket delivery slots were unavailable.

The rate of growth for home delivery groceries is increasing, with shoppers who were previously happy to visit the local town, exploring the advantages of shopping from home and those whose health concerns mean they prefer to avoid the queues. Retailers will need to adapt, which will require more creativity than just wearing a face mask. The pandemic has disrupted shopping habits and the long-term changes are not yet known; the key will be to encourage customers to remain loyal by offering a range of options.
Traditionally it is difficult for a small retailer to find the investment required to create an online presence. Uploading products with all the required measurements, weights, ingredients and allergen information and to source appropriate imagery is time-consuming. Writing copy for a whole stock file is enough to put off even the most enthusiastic independent retailer. The business case for home delivery is strong though. Average transaction value in-store is currently around £8.30, but baskets paid for online are higher at £21.63.

Stores wishing to be online quickly, to serve their customers sooner, can opt for a service like Basket. Basket automates the upload of products chosen by the retailer and provides all descriptions and images for products. For those who use ShopMate EPoS, reporting and stock control is integrated for straightforward administration. Basket offers an easy to use app and a browser-based shop to suit all your customers and handles all the payments – it’ll automatically notify the shop of each order and will notify the driver when the order is ready to go.

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