LinkShare launches analysis of UK online retail with JupiterResearch

UK online retail sales are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12% through to 2012, according to the 2007 JupiterResearch Internet Shopping Model. Affiliate Marketing specialist LinkShare today announces an exclusive report into the UK’s online retail market, in association with analyst house JupiterResearch. The report tracks the recent shopping habits of British consumers online and reveals the importance of a valuable British online consumer segment: the Online Luxury Shopper.

1,000 online consumers were surveyed in August 2008. Online Luxury Shoppers make up 12% of online consumers. They are defined as online consumers ,who make a point of buying luxury products and who are happy to pay more for designer labels. These consumers spend 16% more online than the average online buyer. They are among the most engaged and influential shoppers and a valuable target for retailers.

While the Online Luxury Shopper is aware of the credit crunch, almost one in three say they are not concerned about it. In fact, in response to the struggling economy, these shoppers are more likely than the average online consumer to do more shopping online, rather than in physical shops. 31% expect to do more shopping online than they do offline, in comparison to the 15% of all online consumers.

In particular, in this economic environment, 39% of Online Luxury Shoppers intend to use the internet more as a research tool in order to find the best deals, and they are influenced by a range of different sources. 95% of Online Luxury Shoppers will visit more than one site when choosing products, in order to see a range of prices and information. Particular credence is given to shop websites, cited as a research tool by 66%, auction sites, cited by 64%, and search engines, cited by 59%. 55% of Online Luxury Shoppers will also look to consumer review sites – but less than half will go to a store to research the products they want to buy.

As with Online Luxury Shoppers, 39% of all online consumers point to the internet as a means to research the best deals in the current economy. However, online consumers who could estimate their planned change in spending over the next 12 months, expect their online spending to go down by 4.59% in response to the struggling economy - compared to a decrease of only 1.5% among Online Luxury Shoppers.

Thus, for retailers, there are many benefits to attracting the Online Luxury Shopper. Not only do they carry higher spending power, but they can also influence the purchasing decisions of others. 47% say they are the first to tell people about a new retail site or product, and 44% say that they are the first person to be approached for recommendations of products to purchase. In addition, the Online Luxury Shopper will continue to make unplanned purchases in response to offers: 45% say this is something they often do, twice as many as the average online user.

Liane Dietrich, UK Managing Director at LinkShare said of the report: “Despite the uncertain economic climate our report shows that there are some shoppers whose spending will change but not diminish. Rather than visiting their favourite boutiques the Online Luxury Shopper will become increasingly savvy in looking online for the best deals and will be influencing their friends to do the same. Even if they aren’t worried about the credit crunch, they are keen to make sure they’re not throwing money away unnecessarily and will spend more time on research into the products they want to buy. For retailers this is a very promising sign and there are several opportunities to interact with and affect the shopping habits of the Online Luxury Shopper. Marketers must learn to reach out to them through the wide variety of sources that influence them, broadening their online marketing portfolio and creating a richer shopping experience.”

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For further information please contact Tim Masih or Chloe Wilkinson on 020 7608 2500 or linkshare@hotwirepr.com

LinkShare UK
The LinkShare Corporation provides ecommerce businesses with a wide range of online marketing services including Search Marketing (SEM), Lead Generation and Affiliate Marketing.
LinkShare UK launched in 2006. It is now one of the UK’s leading affiliate marketing networks, with a unique network of quality publishers. In the last 18 months LinkShare has partnered with over 80 brand advertisers in the UK including well-known names from the retail and travel sectors such as AVON, British Airways, Cath Kidston, Figleaves, French Connection, House of Fraser, Links of London, LOVEFiLM.com, Space NK, The White Company and Uniqlo.
LinkShare is dedicated to bringing future technology to today’s market and to enabling both advertisers and publishers to create tracking links through new channels and with new rich media options. Uniquely in the affiliate market, LinkShare’s patented tracking technology has never relied on pixels or cookies.
Advertisers can increase their online sales by leveraging LinkShare's massive performance marketing network along with expert consultative services and patented technology. Superior service combined with technology innovation allows advertisers and publishers to acquire and retain new customers, increase revenue and drive results.
LinkShare was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, London and Tokyo. LinkShare is a division of Rakuten, Inc.

Published on: 12:00AM on 30th October 2008