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Better Broadband Set To Give Big Benefits

18 March 2010 - 09:20 by David Aiken

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Online shopping trends are heavily influenced by a number of factors, ranging from what day of the week it may be to our gender, according to recent surveys. But there is another factor that could be the decider in how much gets spent at the UK's virtual tills by consumers: the speed of their internet connection.

According to some new research by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) Search Group, if a consumer is doing their safe shopping online with the aid of a high-speed broadband connection, they are likely to spend more online than those consumers without access to the latest broadband technology. The research also indicates that consumers on a faster connection are 36.9 per cent more likely to indulge in some safe shopping online than those without.

This means that the future of online retail is looking bright thanks to government plans to get more of the UK's consumers onto broadband connections by 2012. The government's Digital Britain Universal Service Commitment is a strategy to provide every home in the UK with fast broadband access in the next few years, specifically to enable each household to enjoy a 2Mbps connection.

Currently, 4.9 per cent of net users in this country are stuck on dial-up internet with many disenfranchised entirely, relying on mobile internet alone. The government is looking to change that. And the IPA has claimed that should these users get the proposed 2Mbps connection and go on to replicate the habits of other online consumers, there will be a big payday ahead for online retailers: the eCommerce economy should grow by some £1.4bn.

Experts from researchers TST Digital, who carried out the study on behalf of the IPA, have also pointed to the opportunities for job creation and the demand for digital expertise that will come about as these ambitious broadband plans are put into place.