An internet report from Durlacher Research, covering 4,000 UK homes,s for e-commerce. has revealed that demand for e-commerce is outstripping online services offered by UK business, resulting in a rush for resellers to Web enable companies.
The home market has more than doubled, from five per cent in June 1997 to 11 per cent in December 1998, with 30 per cent of users already buying online. Software accounted for 13 per cent, with eight per cent for hardware. However, there is also a large group that wishes to buy online and is being frustrated by the lack of businesses setting up shop in cyberspace.
Areas highlighted by Durlacher include event tickets sales, holiday and travel services, and music and video products. The failure to deliver such services will lead to an influx of companies attempting to cash in on the phenomenon.
But this demand is set to soar, with 37 per cent of users stating they will purchase online in the next six months and a further 15 per cent within a year.
The main element that hindered e-commerce was the security of online transactions, at 31 per cent, followed by the lack of vendors online, at 25 per cent.
However, some of the more worrying statistics included 13 per cent of users who stated the internet had altered their sleep patterns. Another cause for concern was the demographics of the Web. Despite the market more than doubling, the user profile has remained as male and living in the south of England with an A/B social grade.
According to Durlacher, this 'could have serious implications on skills and even standards of living in the long term'.
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