UK ahead in e-shopping

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Online shopping imageBritain is for once ahead of the rest of the world in its technological growth - at least as far as this festive season is concerned. As we enter Cyber Monday (see my note later) 75% of us prefer to buy books, DVDs and similar items online compared to an average 65% in the rest of the world.

This bodes well for the big brands and less well for the smaller shops.

Alert readers will notice that the marketing types claiming today is Cyber Monday, the biggest push in Internet shopping in the calendar, also claimed last Monday was Cyber Monday, coming just after Black Friday. I'm willing to bet they'll claim yet another Cyber Monday next week if they think it'll shift more goods.

Reluctant bankers


Perhaps oddly, then, we seem quite reluctant to do our banking online. KPMG surveyed 9600 people in 31 countries to come to these conclusions, so it's a non-trivial sample. What's really going to matter to the retailers, online and off, is the amount of social networking people do and the checking before buying anything. People are sharing their bad experiences more than ever before, and looking up shops, holidays and anything else more than they used to.

So is all of this going to help the economy? In a bad climate the fact that we're all buying more online than anyone else is a good thing, right?

Well, probably not. It may not be a bad thing, although if you work in retail and sell commodities - books, DVDs, items that are going to be identical wherever you buy them - you'd better find an angle that will bring people back, and fast, because they're going online.

Overall this is a neutral thing. People are moving from the bricks and mortar shops to the online world. This doesn't mean they're spending more, those figures will be available after Christmas. It just means the patterns are changing. Inevitably this will mean working patterns altering as well - it can only be hoped that any transition is managed as painlessly as possible.

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