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Cash Converters’ online success fuels popularity for buying second hand via the internet

Second hand high street retailer Cash Converters is making its mark in world of online retail, as website hits increase by almost a million in one year and sales figures report a 300% year on year growth . Capitalising on the ongoing popularity of buying second hand goods via the internet, the retailer has responded to this trend with changes to its online offering.

The combination of significant improvements to the Cash Converters website, an increase in goods listed on the site’s ‘Webshop’ – the online alternative to high street stores, offering all their services at the click of a button – and the now well-established Cash Converters brand has led to this booming success.

Between January 2013 and January 2014, the number of visits to the Cash Converters website increased by 17%, with unique visits increasing by 8%. Page views are up by almost nine million; a 29% increase.

The increase in popularity of second-hand shopping has heavily influenced this growth plus the fact there is no longer a stigma attached to purchasing items second-hand. In a time when money for the regular UK household is tight, second hand is now seen as thrifty and a clever alternative to buying new.
The trend of upcycling is also a craze that Cash Converters has capitalised on. Buying second hand items and turning them into trendy, unique and sought-after pieces is a growing market, which Cash Converters has been able to take advantage of by stocking a wide variety of goods.
David Patrick, chief executive of Cash Converters, said: “With life becoming faster-paced as each year goes by we have been sure to keep our online portal updated to take advantage of the increasing popularity of second hand retail both on the high street and online.
“We have completed high levels of optimisation work to make the website faster and handle the increase in visitors and stock. We have also streamlined the design with elements such as picture zooming. Mobile traffic makes up a large proportion of visitors, so we’ve worked hard to create a great mobile experience with a fully responsive site.

“Another area that we’ve improved for regular customers is the ability to save card details for future purchases. We also have familiar functionality such as ‘watched items’, as well as a webshop-specific newsletter that showcases specific products.
“We have experienced a huge increase in stock being listed. A few years ago we only had around 2,000 items on the site at any one time, now we have well over 20,000, helping to attract a wider range of consumers. Customers use our service to check if we have something in stock prior to making a full price purchase elsewhere – it just makes sense.”

These improvements have all proved successful for the brand as the number of regular customers has increased significantly in the last year; with over 40% more repeat visits. Figures also show that people are spending longer on the website – an increase of a minute, which is 31% longer than recorded in January last year.
There has been an uptake across all category groups but in particular technology items such as phones, cameras, game consoles and tablets. Guitars are also very popular as are high end watches.

“I think that one of our key successes is that people trust us as a brand,” said David. “They are buying from a recognised high street retailer with over twenty years’ experience in the UK second hand market. At Cash Converters, people can have face to face contact with a member of staff to sell or buy their goods; also giving them a physical place to return their items should they need to.

“We take on board feedback from both our stores and our customers and are constantly looking to evolve and improve our site. An example of this is a call from customers to value their goods on-line before they bring them in to stores for instant cash. We are hoping to roll this out within the next month.”
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