A market research company has claimed that electronic commerce will account for 10 per cent of retail sales by the year 2000. That could mean supermarkets will need to snap up less space for out-of-town sites in the future.
The Interactive Media in Retail Group said that at least 10 per cent of European and US retail trade will use online services by the year 2000.
It claims that critical mass for near vertical take-off of electronic commerce happened in 1996. Mass consumer markets will begin to arrive this year as the technology migrates to the home via the TV, the PC and cheap consumer devices.
?Commercial plans which do not assume ubiquitous global networked computing must be thrown away and rewritten? said James Roper, managing director, IMRG. ?This network is rapidly constituting a market place which will fundamentally change the way most of us acquire information, products and services.?
While they are bullish about the potential growth of e-commerce the researchers also warn of resistance. Potential investors, they say, are confused by the wide range of technical options and the speed of change. They are also confused by the lack of evidence of significant commercial success.
IMRG?s research claims that awareness of the Internet and other electronic media is on the increase. Eighty eight percent of the UK population have heard of the Internet, up from 65 percent in 1995. Eleven percent of the population have used it and seventeen percent agree that they would be interested in using it for banking purposes.
Almost all of the sample admitted to buying goods or services using the phone while 67 per cent reported having buying using an online service. The majority said they would pay a premium of around 10 per cent to have groceries delivered to the home. Half of the home shopping fans would like to do it via the TV, 21 percent would prefer it via their PC and 25 per cent would like both options.
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