Feeds

British retailers wasting e-commerce opportunities

No sign of virtual high street

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

British retailers aren’t doing enough to set up shop on the Internet and are threatening the development of e-commerce in the UK. Unless they start developing Web sites and building similar levels of brand loyalty on the Web, as they have on the high street, they're in danger of missing out on a market that could be worth £3.1 billion in 2003. In particular, US companies pose a serious threat. Companies such as online bookstore Amazon and stockbroker Schwab have showed how they can bring their experience from the more advanced US market over to the UK and compete in the marketplace for a fraction of the cost of establishing a chain of retail outlets. The warning comes in a report by Fletcher Research which concludes that online shopping has barely begin to take off in the UK. But Len Griffin of the Alliance of Independent Retailers, which represents 27,500 retailers in the UK, said that for the most part, "the Net is no help at all." "It's appallingly difficult to retail anything on the Net and while it's fine for certain goods, you can't exactly buy a pint of milk and a box of Cornflakes, can you?" he said. Griffin's traditional take on retailing -- which in his view is simply about getting goods from manufacturers to consumers -- is of no surprise to Benjamin Ensor, author of Window Shopping?. He says that retailers in the UK must realise that the rules change when they sell online and that they have to develop new ways of building relationships with customers. Ensor also estimates that the total online sales, excluding financial services, were around £230 million last year -- less than 0.2 per cent of the total retail market in the UK. What's more, he concludes that only 12 per cent of users in the UK are active online shoppers. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.