UK Internet providers, KeConnect, said on Monday that “a new online service, AskTheLocal!, combines the best of online retail with shopping locally by allowing buyers to source goods in their area. Having compared prices online, consumers can purchase products from ‘bricks and mortar’ shops instead of waiting for delivery.”
Interestingly, the article is about how successful online shopping is proving to be this year in the UK. Online shopping is increasing in the UK, but it remains a niche (still less than 10% of all retail sales according to estimates for 2006), and as local-shopping search spreads, we predict online shopping will level off, or even drop. Consider IMRG’s May 2006 report that highlighted how 90% of UK Internet users research their products online, but then proceed to purchase the item offline.
Greg Sterling details why e-commerce will remain a niche in his discussion of US local-shopping search NearbyNow.
Also on Monday, the AskTheLocal! press-wire story, “UK’s First Local-Shopping Search Torpedoes Online Shopping”, was featured on the Financial Times site (Subscription Only).