Firms count costs as 93pc of consumers plan to shop online

19 Nov 2009

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Businesses could potentially face mounting costs in terms of staff time and online usage as the latest indexes reveal that 93pc of consumers plan to shop online this Christmas.

Web-filtering firm Bloxx warns that business productivity could be adversely affected by the increasing numbers of consumers who say they plan to purchase Christmas gifts online this year.

According to the latest e-Customer Service Index (eCSI) from eDigitalResearch and IMRG, 93pc of UK consumers plan to shop online for their Christmas gifts this year, with more than a quarter planning to do more shopping online than last year.

Online shopping during working time

Combined with research from the Business Software Alliance that revealed 46pc of online shopping happens during working hours, companies who do not have a robust acceptable use policy (AUP) and an effective web filter deployed could find that staff may be tempted to catch up on their online shopping during working hours.

“Online shopping continues to grow in popularity each year and with people now spending more time seeking the best prices before buying, companies need to have a proactive approach to ensuring that personal internet usage does not become excessive,” said Bloxx’s CEO, Eamonn Doyle.

“In our experience, the companies who place an outright ban on staff accessing non-work-related web sites usually end up with unhappy employees. What seems to be most effective is a triple approach of employee education, creating a clear acceptable use policy and deploying an effective web filter.

“Many of our customers have developed AUPs that allow staff to access non-work related web sites during breaks but restrict access to these sites during core business hours.”

Bloxx has created an online cost calculator that allows organisations to quickly calculate how much non-work-related web surfing could be costing their company. The calculator can be found here.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Some 93pc of UK consumers plan to do their Christmas shopping online this year, with more than a quarter planning to do more shopping online than last year, the latest e-Customer Service Index suggests.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com