Web and emerging media designers stand to see demand for their services increase exponentially over the next five years.
According to research group Mintel, retail sales via PC or TV home-shopping channels are to increase by 1000 per cent over that period, reaching a value of £5400m by 2004.
Goods sold in the overall home- shopping market are currently valued at £10.12bn. It is estimated that 65 per cent of adults have shopped from home. This represents a 33 per cent growth since 1995, compared to a 20 per cent growth in general retail sales. In the interactive sector, books, CDs and entertainment products are currently driving sales growth.
Usage rates for on-line shopping have more than doubled in a year, according to Mintel’s research. The group’s findings show that men are more likely to buy on-line than women, while age and social class also play a part: those classified as ABC1 and between the ages of 25 and 44 show a strong bias towards Internet shopping. Around 50 per cent of Internet shoppers spend less than £20 per month, while a fifth do not keep count of their expenditure, says Mintel.
TV-based shopping services show lower penetration levels than those on the Internet: 6 per cent of the overall population have used them. Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 are the biggest users.
“The new breed of cash-rich, time-poor consumer tends to be technologically savvy, and so the Internet is ideally placed to exploit this consumer’s need for ease and convenience,” says Mintel retail consultant Richard Caines.