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Agnostics and Phantoms blamed for ecommerce failure

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More than $16 billion worth of online sales in Europe are generated by just 14 per cent of its population, according to a survey by Datamonitor.

The third annual interactive survey, IMPACT 2001, reveals that it is businesses - not consumers - that have failed to understand the new economy.

Consumers, it says, are "sophisticated, discriminating" and comfortable in their online world.

It is up to etailers to "cross the chasm" (whatever that bloody well means) and come up with new ways to reach out to those consumers still hesitant about e-shopping.

Amusingly, Datamonitor has categorised consumers into five distinct groups in a bid to understand their online behaviour.

If you can get to bottom of the list without laughing (that includes smirking) then you did better than me.


  • The "Resistors" - these are the 50 per cent of European respondents who say they do not access the Internet at all
  • The "Agnostics" - 9 per cent who access the Net but do not browse for products online
  • The "Phantoms"- at 27 per cent they make up the largest share of Net users. Although they browse for products online, they make the purchase off-line
  • The "Moderates" - 8 per cent of Net users who make purchases online but don't spend that much
  • The "Internet Globe Trotters (IGTs)" - the biggest online spenders..but they only make up 6 per cent of European Net users

So, which one are you? Answers on postcard...but not to us. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

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