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UK consumers are gagging for e-commerce

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Retailers are being blamed for the stunted development of e-commerce in the UK, according to a report due to be published later this week by Durlacher Research. Although 30 per cent of home Internet users have already bought goods online, Durlacher found that there are significant gaps between the percentage of those willing to purchase goods online and those who have actually gone ahead and done so. These discrepancies represent considerable missed opportunities, the authors of the report maintain. "Either existing e-commerce vendors in that space are failing to provide an adequate service or there are genuine niches in which no vendors operate," said Nick Gibson, Internet analyst at Durlacher. To prove his point, Gibson points to one piece of research that shows that while 13 per cent of users would be willing to buy clothes online, only two per cent have actually done so. "This appears to indicate a considerable supply shortfall in the e-commerce market," he continued. The report also found that peoples' reluctance to purchase online is not, as many believe, because of a preference for shopping in person or the "personal touch". Instead, Durlacher found that many users are still concerned about security issues (31 per cent) and the absence of adequate vendors (25 per cent). ®

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