Electronic shopping shows ‘limited appeal’

Designers working on electronic shopping offers are likely to be affected by the decline of interest in the medium, according to the discouraging findings of a new report from consumer research firm Mintel.

“Designers who work in clothing and grocery on-screen offers may not be getting much more work. People prefer to actually visit the shops themselves,” says Mintel retail analyst Neil Mason, who adds that electronic shopping in the areas of books and compact discs is likely to grow.

Mintel has just published Electronic Shopping, a report which reveals that computer shopping has “limited appeal”. Only one in ten respondents claimed they would be likely to use their television or computer to order products if they had access. Nearly half stated that “nothing could encourage them to use any methods of electronic shopping at all”.

But Patrick Dunn, project director at 20/20’s sister company 1/2/1 Interactive Multimedia, is more optimistic. “This industry is only six months old, and as a general rule it’s increasing at such a pace that it is hard to keep up,” he says.

Littlewoods, Empire, Freemans, Next Directory and Great Universal Stores all offer home shopping, and Marks & Spencer is said to be considering a move into electronic shopping for clothes.

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