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Consumers give e-tail a bit of loving

Hugs all round for Amazon and co... nice...
Written by Kate Hanaghan, Contributor on

Hugs all round for Amazon and co... nice...

Growth in the UK e-tail sector has accelerated over the past four months showing a significant improvement on last year. And it could be in for an even bigger boost following the launch of new credit card schemes that offer increased protection against fraud. Statistics gathered by IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) over the past four months show online sales have grown by 11.54 per cent during the period. This compares with a figure of less than four per cent in the same period last year. The main driver of this growth in sales is the attitude of consumers. According to James Roper, chief executive of IMRG, it is the familiarity with the web rather than the pull of e-tailers that is fuelling the increase in sales. Roper told silicon.com: "Buying on the web is increasingly becoming part of their [consumers'] thinking - there has not been a lot of investment from e-tailers on the supply side." But Julian Field, CEO of Furniture123, argued that the most successful e-tailers are continuing to invest in increasing their sales. Field said: "All the web retailers that are doing well are not standing still by any means. They are actively trying to attract new customers." Furniture123 has in place partnerships with AOL, Freeserve and MSN to attract customers through portals. It's also stepping up its PR activities and adding to the number of products online. This year, e-tailers might also experience an additional boost in sales with the introduction of new credit card schemes such as Verified by Visa. This is designed to increase confidence in online security by making banks completely responsible for the safety of all online Visa transactions. At the moment IMRG collates data from a third of UK e-tailers. It plans to up this to 50 per cent by the end of the year.
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