The rise in the online shopping price comparison market is giving smaller, independent online retailers across the UK the opportunity to fight back against the decline in high street sales and compete with major retail giants.

Leading shopping price comparison site, idealo.co.uk, is today reporting a 24 per cent rise in traffic year-on-year and believes the upward trend is good news for SME-size retailers looking to increase online revenue streams to drive business growth.

Katy Phillips, spokesperson for idealo.co.uk commented: “The trading conditions for smaller retailers has never been tougher, due to the continued drop in sales across bricks and mortar stores and substantial online marketing spending of larger retail players. The growth in shopping price comparison in the UK provides light at the end of the tunnel, particularly for SME-size retailers that find it difficult to cope with these tough market conditions and need new ways to adapt and gain more market share.”

Although 5,833 shops in the UK closed in 2018*, idealo.co.uk receives over 800,000 visits to its site each month. The higher consumer demand has prompted it to experience a 21 per cent rise in retailers subscribing to its free business partnership programme over the last 12 months.

Nottingham-based kitchen appliance retailer, Appliance City (www.appliancecity.co.uk) has benefited greatly from the programme. The company has been supplying kitchen appliances over 30 years through its showroom and ecommerce site and prides itself on being able to offer consumers competitive prices.

James McCartney, Business Development Director for the firm, commented: “As one of the largest independent appliance retailers in the country, we increasingly find that price and getting the best deal is such an important factor for customers. We continually monitor competitors on a daily basis to ensure our pricing gives us real standout in the market.

“Shopping price comparison sites such as Idealo are a great tool for the consumer as they can independently determine the best prices, reviews and stock availability in one place. This gives shoppers greater choice, whilst allowing us to compete with bigger retailers in the industry on price.”

There’s still scope for more SME-size retailers to emulate the success of retailers such as Appliance City through effective partnerships, despite the perception amongst some that consumers have historically embraced shopping online price comparison at a slower rate than in other sectors.

Katy Phillips explains: “Despite the meteoric rise of sites such as Compare The Market and Money Supermarket amongst consumers and businesses in sectors such as financial services and utilities, it hasn’t been as heavily adopted in the retail space – until now.

“Consumer shopping habits in the UK are continually evolving and the average shopper is just as likely to compare the price of a microwave as they are an expensive car insurance premium. We’d urge more SME-size retail businesses to partner with companies such as ourselves so that we can put their products in front of increasing numbers of online shoppers when they are researching what to buy or are even at the point of purchase.”