Retail stores charge up to 350% more for products than online. A study shows online shops have enjoyed the lowest inflation level in five years due to the lower costs and high competition.
The research, carried out by the UK internet service provider TalkTalk and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, found that online prices fell by 0.7% in the second quarter of 2012 compared to 2011, while in-store prices rose by 1.6%. Over five years, prices in the internet shops have risen by 3% compared with 6.2% in shops.
The digital price index was complied by comparing retail and online prices for more than 50 random goods and by tracking the digital inflation rate.
According to the study some of the biggest differences in retail and online pricing were found in prices for entertainment products such as DVDs, CDs and video games. Average prices for films and music in retailers were 124% higher than online, the researchers revealed.
For example the PC game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 cost £39.99 in a high street retailer compared with £19.99 at Amazon.co.uk. While Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de parfum cost £70 in a high street store comparing to £46 online.
For toys, the average difference between store and web prices was as much as 180%, according to the survey. For example, Lego City Big track cost £39 in a retailer, while in an online shop it carried a price tag of only £14.
Prices for electrical goods also showed some of the biggest differences as a Zanussi ZDF2020 dishwasher cost £330 in a retail store compared with £237 at Appliances.co.uk.