November and December are traditionally the two biggest months for retailers, but this year it is expected that high-street shops will not be as busy as we would normally expect. This is because many of us have decided to switch to online shopping instead.
If last summer is anything to go by, then e-commerce businesses are in for a bumper pre-Christmas rush. In both June and July online sales rose by around 10%, showing clearly that web shops are not feeling the results of the economic difficulties anywhere near as much as their high-street counterparts do.
The reasons behind this trend are complex and have been widely discussed by many experts. Some of them are linked directly to the credit crunch; for example many online retailers are able to sell products at lower prices than we would normally see in shops, as the overheads of running such businesses are often much lower. Convenience seems to be another major reason, as many of us like the idea of doing our shopping from home or office and having the items delivered to us. This could be exaggerated further at times when shops can get very busy, as they do in the run up to Christmas.
Predictions suggest that the growth of the e-commerce industry will continue at high speed for months if not years to come. As online payments gain the trust of more consumers and as shops on the Internet improve their interfaces and general customer experience it is fairly safe to assume that the trend we see right now will get even stronger.
The growth of the Internet itself will be another source fuelling this already substantial flame. Obviously online businesses can operate without the traditional boundaries which companies of old were limited by. There are already entrepreneurs trading across the globe, without the need for massive operations behind them. In fact many do so from their homes by outsourcing the storage and the delivery of goods.
With so many advantages over traditional retailers, it comes as no surprise that e-commerce businesses are performing so well, even during the recession. Consumers seem to agree, which puts a massive question mark over the future of our high-streets.