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Fox and Brands Go For Total Net Inclusion

02 April 2010 - 08:04 by Simon Crisp

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Online retailers are expecting continued growth in sales as the UK consumer base benefits from universal access to high speed internet connections, with the result that ever more people will have access to online stores. However, e-retailers may have to wait a while before those currently without connections become regular consumers enjoying safe shopping online. The UK government is aiming to get everyone online, but with the target date being in 2012, there is still some way to go.

Happily, it seems that this may well be a realistic target, with Martha Lane Fox, the founder of Lastminute.com and the government's first Champion for Digital Inclusion, now leading a campaign to make the UK one hundred per cent online. Ms. Lane Fox has managed to attract some significant brand names to the cause, including Sky, Google, BT and Microsoft.

Each of these brands is looking to help in its own particular way. Microsoft has rolled out a Britain Works initiative, which aims to get some 250,000 new users enjoying safe shopping online. It is also involved in the 'Pass IT on' campaign with Sky, among others. Sky, too, is continuing to offer broadband to customers in order to encourage digital inclusion.

Meanwhile, the website Moneysupermarket.com is encouraging those already connected to change their shopping habits in teaching them that the internet is not such a frightening place after all. The site is providing guidance and lessons for new net users as well as asking existing customers to get out there and help newcomers in their local community to start using the internet.

Also getting involved in providing help and support for those less familiar with the web is search giant Google, which will be producing a Simple Guide to the Internet, which will be distributed around the country in the near future.