Latest study -- no e-Christmas bonanza

The UK is not about to experience its first e-Christmas according to the latest findings from Fletcher research.

Opinion among e-commerce experts has been sharply divided in the run-up to Christmas, with some researchers predicting a bonanza for online traders. E-shopping accounts for less than 1 percent of the total UK retail spend and the latest wave of Fletcher's Internet User Monitor shows that less than a third of UK users have bought online, with women more cautious than men.

50,000 respondents were interviewed for the survey.

80 percent of female surfers are yet to make a purchase online, compared with 64 percent of men, according to the research. Concerns about security is holding half of the online population back from making online purchases.

Neil Bradford, director of Fletcher remains optimistic about the future of e-shopping. "We expect there to be 24.5m adults with Internet access by 2003, 18m of which will be regular users. And as the number of regular users rises, so too will their comfort in making online purchases," he said.

Take me to the e-commerce special.