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UK e-tailers 'to lose £1bn over Christmas'

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Poor communication is costing British online retailers up to £1bn in Christmas sales this year.

Research from the Voice Commerce Group (VCG) has found that although internet shopping is experiencing unprecedented growth in 2005, retailers face losing approximately 20 per cent of their potential sales this holiday season.

Ecommerce experts the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) have estimated that online sales in the run-up to Christmas will be worth some £5bn.

But the VCG study shows that more than half of all potential transactions that are not followed through are being abandoned because customers feel they lack enough information to finish the sale.

With 24 million British shoppers turning to online shops this Christmas, retailers stand to lose £42 per potential customer, the report claimed.

"Many abandoned transactions could be saved by including a simple 'click to call' link on retail websites," said Nick Ogden, president of the VCG.

Ogden said that by providing consumers with the option of talking to a sales assistant could give them more confidence and help shop owners fulfil more potential transactions. ®

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