Train commuter consumers spend more than the average online

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Research has revealed the extent to which commuters are driving ecommerce sales. It’s long been known that there are ecommerce web traffic surges during the commuter times. This research from KBH On Train Media is called From Train Carriage to Shopping Cart: The multi-billion pound reality of rail commuter commerce further cements the importance of commuters to online retail. The report specifically concentrates on rail commuters.

The estimated value of rail-only commuter commerce, the amount of spend brands are able to influence during on-train time, was £2.6 billion in 2017: 4% of total online retail spend. That means that £1 in every £25 spent online is by a commuter on the train. The average transaction value is £28.19, which equates to £4.87 every day they commute.
– KBH On Train Media

The report says that the reasons for commuters to shop online on the train include ‘free time’ (26%), ‘convenience’ (25%), ‘boredom’ (17%), ‘don’t feel time-pressured’ (13%); and ‘enjoy browsing for products while on the train’ (11%)(see fig 1). The most popular time for on-train shopping is the evening commute, between 4pm-8pm (33% shopped then); the second most popular time was morning rush hour between 6am and 10am, when 27% were shopping.

Rail commuters make up 9% of the overall population, but the reports says they contribute 11% of total spending, meaning a greater spend per capita than the average UK household, therefore indicating they have disproportionate economic importance. The report says that it is It is estimated that this segment of the population contributed £140.4 billion to the UK economy in 2017 across all areas of consumer spending.

Train commuter commerce retail is only set to grow in terms of both value and impact, they say. Online, rail-only commuter commerce is predicted to reach £4.6 billion by 2022, an overall increase of 75%, growing on average just over 12% per annum. This is very slightly outpacing the growth of online retail predicted overall across the same period.


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