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Net no longer ‘mysterious entity’

E-commerce obstacle eroding away

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More and more people believe it's safe to conduct business over the Net, it seems. Two years ago, only 37 per cent of companies surveyed by Massachusetts-based Cahners In-Stat Group, believed that the Net would be safe for e-commerce. Today, that figure has almost doubled to 65 per cent and in the UK shopping online is becoming more commonplace. This upbeat survey - which adds weight to reports of increased spending online this Christmas - also suggests that one of the longest standing obstacles to e-commerce is slowly but surely eroding away. It highlights a growing acceptance that it is as safe to give out credit card details over the Web as it is over the phone. Greg Cline, principal analyst for Internet architecture at Cahners In-Stat, said: "[The Net] has progressed from being this mysterious entity to something quite familiar to corporate users and consumers." "The technology hasn't improved that much," Cline continued. "But the perception of that technology has." This view is endorsed by UK Internet entrepreneur, John Howard, who runs http://www.recollections.co.uk, an online store specialising in rock music memorabilia. In the seven months or so since he's been up and running, Howard has noticed a sharp increase in the number of orders he's received from UK shoppers. When asked about attitudes of shoppers from different parts of the globe, Howard said that while US Web surfers had always been keen to shop on the Net, it was only recently that UK users had begun to adopt such patterns of behaviour. ®

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