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Britain Accepts Online Retail-And Demands The Best From It

10 May 2010 - 09:16 by Paul Tissington

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Is Britain turning into a nation of demanding internet shoppers and shopkeepers? The numbers certainly seem to be suggesting a drift in this direction with 49 per cent of adults in the UK now contributing to the figures for safe shopping online from pure play online retailers.

This is according to a study from web hosting firm 1&1 Internet Ltd. 1&1 spoke to some 1400 consumers and 390 small firms, as part of a piece of research entitled the '2010 UK eBusiness Audit', with the results indicating that the growing adoption of safe shopping online in the UK is leading to widespread acceptance of e-commerce as an intrinsic part of the business infrastructure in Britain.

The research also revealed that many in the UK now view online retail as a career choice. 58 per cent of those questioned in the survey said that they would see running an online business to be a valid career path, with the same merit as running a "physical" business. In other words, running an internet business is now considered to be a "mainstream" career choice. Furthermore, one in five people have actually considered running an online business of their own. The market appetite appears to support this with one in three consumers regarding online stores as just as important to the UK as bricks-and-mortar outlets.

With many now seeing online retail as an important part of Britain's social and commercial fabric, online consumers are now likely to expect more when they shop online, the survey found. 65 per cent of online shoppers believe that they are now more "demanding", expecting fast turnaround on orders and an improved customer experience in general. Tolerance of poorly designed sites and sub-standard customer service is reducing in line with increased online competition.