Island Analysis Online Purchasing Trends
— Chris Brock, Director, Island Analysis
Key findings from research published January 2014 into Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man’s online purchasing activity.
The following key findings were recorded from the research:
- As in 2013, similar online shopping trends were recorded in each of the three islands.
- More than half of the respondents in each of the islands indicated that their expenditure level of online shopping had ‘increased’ or ‘increased a lot’ in 2014 over 2013.
- ‘Convenience’, ‘price’ and ‘product range and choice’ continue to be the three dominant reasons for shopping online. However, ‘price’ was the most important factor in Guernsey and Jersey while ‘convenience’ was the most important in the Isle of Man.
- While there were variations between the three islands with regard to the average amounts spent on various products and services, it was interesting to note that the average annual online household spend was similar in each of the islands.
- There was a drop in the percentage of respondents in all three islands in 2014 as compared with 2013 who indicated that they ‘frequently’ or ‘very frequently’ visited a local shop to view a product but then bought the item online.
- It was interesting to note that one in three respondents in both Jersey and Isle of Man ‘frequently’ or ‘very frequently’ reviewed a product online before buying that product locally. However, this percentage was slightly lower in Guernsey. This difference may be due to the smaller retail offer available in Guernsey as compared with the other two islands.
- Approximately half of all respondents in the three islands stated that they ‘frequently’ or ‘very frequently’ experienced online retailers not delivering to their island. This is more of an issue in the Isle of Man as compared to Jersey and Guernsey. (It is important to note that this survey was undertaken before John Lewis stopped deliveries to the islands.)
- As far as the barriers to purchasing online were concerned, ‘companies not delivering to the island’ was the most important reason given in all three islands, followed by ‘returning products can be difficult with online purchases’. ‘I like to support local businesses’ was another popular response in all islands. ‘Companies not deducting the appropriate taxes when delivering to the island’ was also one of the top five reasons given in Jersey and Guernsey (VAT is charged in the Isle of Man).
- Almost half of Isle of Man respondents indicated that they had never purchased online group offers while only 24% in Jersey and 29% in Guernsey had never availed themselves of such group offers.
- Tablet devices were becoming increasingly important as a means of purchasing products and services online.
- The retail offer varies a lot between the islands but in terms of choice, Jersey has the greatest retail offer. VAT (20%) is charged in the Isle of Man and GST (5%) levied in Jersey. There is no sales tax applicable in Guernsey.
- In research undertaken in Autumn 2013, the primary leisure reason for visiting the UK for one in five Isle of Man and Guernsey residents was to go shopping. This ratio was slightly lower for Jersey.