Online shopping: the top development of the century

Data Insights 13 February 2014

A new poll has revealed that Brits consider online shopping to be the biggest technological development of the 21st century.

According to respondents, the ability to buy goods over the internet rather than having to walk into a store had the biggest impact on their lives, ahead of things like online banking.

Despite this, the research noted that Brits are often slow to embrace new technology – some 92 per cent of people will not try a new piece of kit until they have seen others do so.

This means that as many as 39 million people in the country are reluctant to embrace such advancements, sometimes to their own detriment.

Some 19 per cent of respondents said that they need to witness friends or family do this before taking the plunge themselves.

Reflecting on the figures, TV presenter and technology enthusiast Philippa Forrester explained, “New technologies are often met with scepticism when they’re introduced, but later, many of us wonder what we ever did without them. Online shopping, online banking, and on-the-go entertainment were all at one time considered ‘new’ technologies but are now very much part of our day-to-day lives.”

She added, “While Brits may hark back to the ‘glory days’ of yesteryear, this rarely chimes with the reality, which is that modern technology has improved life quality.”

Last month, IMRG chief information officer Tina Spooner said, “Online shopping is slowly becoming part of everyday life in the UK, this trend is likely to continue in the coming years.”

Online retail sales increased by 16 per cent last year, reaching £91 billion, while December saw growth of 18 per cent, with as much as £11 billion being sold in that month alone.

Of course, this is partly driven by the unstoppable rise of smartphones and tablets.

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