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High-Street Cheaper Than the Internet? Really?

Posted: 23rd Oct, 2006 By: MarkJ
Some rather unusual research released today by GfK has revealed that the average consumer product ‘spend’ can be roughly 50% more online than through the high street:

While like-for-like products are cheaper on the Internet, the average price consumers spend on a product is often higher as they buy higher specification products, in the knowledge that they are getting a better deal. For example, the average price spent on a LCD TV on the internet is £867, 32% higher than the average £657 spent on the High Street.

In terms of market share, the Internet has doubled from 4% to 8% of overall sales in the £42bn consumer durables market over the last 12 months. Products such as Hard Disk Drives and MP3 players continue to be bought in huge numbers on the Internet, but consumers are increasingly buying less obvious products online, with over 10% of all Bread Makers and Dishwashers sold on the Internet. As Internet shopping increases, so does consumers’ desire to buy higher specification, more expensive products.

James Randall: "Over the last 12 months the internet fulfilled its hype for retailing. What is particularly interesting is how consumers’ buying behaviour differs on the Internet. It is not surprising that internet shoppers are more technically savvy than the norm. However, what is interesting is that as they are early adopters when they buy products they usually spend more money on the Internet as they buy the latest, higher specification items."

Being an avid and price conscious consumer myself, as many of you are, I always check prices through multiple shops both online and via the high street before making a purchase. To date I have always managed to find things cheaper online than off.

It certainly makes us wonder quite how the results were compiled, although if true it could suggest that many people are not shopping around enough to find the best deals. That doesn't sound like the British public to us =).
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