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Etailers are still failing to cash-in on online sales, according to London-based internet outfit E-consultancy. Its latest report into ecommerce found that etailers need to make "vast improvements" in product search, promotion and customer support if they want to attract more customers.

Its report Online Retail User Experience Benchmarks found that etailers could give a massive boost to sales overnight if only people could find the products they were after. The problem is so bad the study found that half of all products sought were not found by simple keyword searches.

It also seems that etailers lack imagination when flogging gear. By bundling products and linking to related offers, E-Consultancy reckons punters could be persuaded to spend even more cash.

Summing up the obstacles facing etailers the report said that all retailers can make "vast improvements" if they improve "search, support and promotion".

Said E-consultancy spokesman Dr Mike Baxter: "Our report shows clearly that some aspects of online shopping are still struggling to reach basic levels of performance – search effectiveness, for example."

Government figures published today showed that more and UK Businesses are buying goods and services over the web. One in three companies is buying online, compared to one in 20 in 2002. The report also found that businesses are flogging more gear too. ®

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