“Electronic retailing is the sale of consumer goods and services via an interactive electronic communications network” (Rafiq and Varley, 2004). Internet shopping emerged in the 1990’s (Pittarese, 2010) and today thrives as one of the most popular means for consumers worldwide to purchase their goods and services. This year, according to the Office of National Statistics (2011), over 32 million people in the UK (including 66% of all adults) purchased goods or services via the internet. This was an increase from 62% in comparison to 2010 (Office of National Statistics, 2011). Without a doubt, there is ever-increasing concern that the rise of internet shopping poses a threat to store based retailers, in particular, offline retailers in both the CD and clothing sectors. However, to what extent will the convenience of internet shopping lead to the redundancy of shopping in stores? Do Brick and Mortar stores have a future?
Firstly, the main motives for shopping for the majority of consumers include being able to purchase products quickly, purchase items at discounts and find the best bargains for products and services, especially as a result of the recession. According to Rafiq and Varley (2004) sources from Stobie (2000) state that the top five reasons for online purchases in the UK, France and Germany were ease and convenience, speed of process, better prices, better choices and 24/7 availablity. Other reasons were that products unavailable locally were made accessible allowing global delivery of products and that contact with sales assistants, crowds and queues could be avoided (Stobie, 2000). From this, it is evident that the convenience of online retailing gives online retailers a unique selling point against their store based competitors- high-street and shopping centre stores by enabling them to steal market share through satisfying consumers’ shopping needs. In addition, not only does the convenience of internet shopping cater to the average shopper’s...
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