Monday, 27th February 2012, 16:44:27
The popularity of online shopping is continuing to do well, experts believe.
Jeremiah Johnston, president of the Internet Commerce Association, believes that the e-commerce sector will keep expanding as more and more people become web savvy.
"Now you've got grandparents opening Facebook accounts and sending emails and text messaging - things like that," he said.
"So now the general population has more thoroughly moved online for a lot of key daily activities - shopping being a big one of them. So e-commerce numbers are just going to continue to grow," he said.
His views are supported by recent research from Global Freight Solutions, which predicts that online shopping parcels will make up at least half of all Christmas packages by 2016.
The company also found that e-commerce purchases accounted for more than a third of packages handled by British carriers in November and December last year.
Mr Johnston notes that even existing retailers can save money by doing business online rather than in a bricks-and-mortar store.
The advantages for the customers themselves are numerous.
For one thing, there is the convenience of shopping online, especially as many big sites, such as Asos.com andAmazon.co.uk, offer free standard delivery on items for UK addresses.
Another reason for the continued popularity of online shopping is the fact that the experience is becoming more sociable.
Retailers are increasingly making use of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to engage in a dialogue with their consumers, which goes some way to compensating for the sociable experience that they miss out on when they do not visit bricks-and-mortar stores.
It remains to be seen how the new development in the world of domain names will impact on the e-commerce market.
Thanks to a series of changes introduced by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names), retailers will soon be able to have a domain name that more accurately shows their brand.
For example, instead of .com or .co.uk, they will be able to choose .nike or .topshop for their website.
Some companies may leverage this advantage with cross platform applications for tablet and mobile devices, all tied to one definitive global brand.
Posted by Phil Williams
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