E-tailers' inadequate fulfilment processes have played a major part in the current slump in the business-to-consumer (B2C) sector.A study published today by US research firm AMR found that pure e-tailers have not coped with the demands put on their fulfilment processes. Failings in order processing and delivery have alienated customers, driving them back to high street stores. The report claims that e-tailers look upon fulfilment as too expensive and difficult to execute. The report says: "E-tailers should look at the process of fulfilment as a company wide issue rather than a departmental one. Companies should understand the logistics behind successful delivery and utilise more available technological resources." David Pannell, consultant at Durlacher Research, agreed with the study and said some e-tailers are having to learn from a meagre Christmas season last year. He said: "Last Christmas got off to a bad start as some of the start up companies ignored their customers which meant they did not have much of a business left after a few months. But there were some lessons to be learnt for the bigger high street players." Steve Wind-Mozley, ecommerce manager at Marks and Spencer, claimed the e-tailing arm of his company has learned some of the rules of fulfilment over the last 12 months. He said: "Our established catalogue business has helped us to understand the problems with B2C fulfilment. However, the dot-coms' mistakes have not ruined customers' faith in e-tailing, but they will seek out more established names now." Experian, a UK CRM specialist, published a study yesterday which claimed purchasing on the internet has doubled since January. More significantly, the report concluded that 1.45 million UK consumers have made four or more online purchases this year. AMR study surveyed e-tailers on both sides of the Atlantic and across the B2C sector.