The UK market for online shopping looks set to soar to £60 billion (~€88 billion, US$108 billion~) by 2010 according to a new report.
Research carried out by The Future Foundation for The Air Miles Travel Company claims that within five years 20% of all retail spending could be generated by items bought over the trusty Internet
The report also highlights the growth of silver surfers – old ‘uns aged between 55 and 64 – a demographic traditionally ignored by e-tailers.
According to the report, nearly two-thirds of people heading for retirement are currently clicking away on the web – up from only a third in 2001.
These figures suggest a silver surfer shopping boom is only five years away as there’s traditionally a two to six year delay between first using the Internet and whipping out the wallet online.
James Roper, chief executive of industry body for global e-retailing IMRG, warned that companies assuming that online shopping is only young hipsters could be restricting their growth.
“It’s essential for company growth to invest in this older online shopper,” he added.
The Future Foundation commented that websites sporting yoof-orientated design, teensy weensy text and kray-zee interfaces are likely to miss out on silver surfer sales.
Instead, the report stressed the importance of creating accessible sites with clear navigation, letting age-challenged users unleash their pensions and Spend! Spend! Spend!
Internet shopping continues to increase overall, with nearly 40% of people in the UK spending online during the past six months – up 100% from three years ago.
“Today’s online shopping market is certainly booming and is set to evolve dramatically over the next five years,” said Michael Wilmott, chief executive and head futurologist at the Foundation.
“If current trends continue, the proportion of Internet users among the general population could be as high as 85% by 2010 – with a whopping 80% of people shopping online.”