Britain is now a nation of eShop keepers

The survey of over 1000 UK adults found that nearly half have already earned additional money by retailing goods or monetising skills or a hobby online, and 30 per cent now expect to do this regularly in the future.  The data suggests that a high level of awareness for internet tools has made selling online a feasible and enjoyable pursuit for many.
For centuries, Britain has been regarded fondly as a ‘nation of shop keepers’.  The ‘eCommerce Participation Study’, a survey of 1012 UK adults finds that a passion for retailing has perhaps become even more prevalent in the Internet Age.  Over 40 per cent of both men and women have added to their income by selling goods or skills online, which rises to 54 per cent for those between 25-34 years old.
Interestingly, 30 per cent of adults now expect to add to their income by selling goods online on a regular basis.  An additional 36 per cent would consider trying online retail as an activity.  For 17 per cent, selling online regularly is planned to add to retirement income.  For both 1 in 5 men and women, selling online is viewed as a route to achieve life goals and a better work/life balance.
ePages CEO Wilfried Beeck, said, “The survey suggests a high participation level – today a large proportion of Britons are both keen and confident to become online merchants whenever the need arises.  Affordable cloud-driven software, popular online marketplaces and easy payment methods have done a remarkable job of democratising retail – enabling any level of computer user to advertise, communicate and transact online”.
It would appear that aspiration or curiosity for retail is held by many British adults.  Whilst shopping themselves on a website, 1 in 4 have considered setting up a similar business themselves.  When asked whether their personality and skills would best suit running a physical shop or a virtual one, half would prefer to run solely an online store, with 27 per cent opting to do both.  Only 10 per cent would ideally like to run just a high street shop.
The internet has certainly impacted common understanding of what generates retail success in 2016 – the majority of those surveyed believe that an online shop alone is the way to sell the most.  Some 39 per cent see the most potential in selling ‘omni channel’ with both a website and physical shop together, and 8 per cent would choose to run a physical shop alone.
A significant aspect of the research is the high level of understanding and confidence towards tools for ecommerce.  Over half of respondents believe it ‘achievable’ to set up an online store themselves, and a further 16 per cent expect it to be ‘easy’.  Accessibility to such tools is high with nearly three quarters regarding these to be either ‘cheap’ or ‘affordable’ to source.
Internet Psychologist Graham Jones, comments, “It is no surprise that people like the potential for online retail.  The extra cash it will bring in means that people can regain control over finances, for instance.  Buying and selling is also an exchange between two people.  Human beings are primed for such exchanges as they allow us to interact more and engage with more people, which is a primary inbuilt need.  Whatever the reason for selling, there are deep psychological factors at play which everyone who sells online shares – it’s all about engaging with more people and being in control”.