The Newspaper Society has urged the regional press to step up its
e-commerce activity or miss out on millions of pounds worth of
The society has produced a guide to electronic trading for regional
press publishers, simply titled E-commerce. It uses a series of case
studies to examine the challenges and opportunities facing publishers
that want to set up e-commerce services.
Adrienne Smith, commercial development manager at the society,
commented: ’There have been some success stories online, but we need to
do more if we’re not going to get left behind. We’re perfectly placed to
remain at the centre of our communities by helping our existing
customers in this new world.’
The E-commerce report quotes the latest results from the NOP Internet
User Profile study, which says that 14.2 million adults - 30 per cent of
the population - used the internet in the last year. Research body
Mintel predicts e-retailing will soon be worth pounds 6 billion a year
in the UK.
The report adds that since December 1998, home shopping on the net has
doubled from 13 per cent of total users to 29 per cent.
Case studies in the report include the Newsquest Shoppersworld site,
which links regional shopping malls, and Western Media Publishing’s
Shop4-it.co.uk, as well as successful sites that are not linked to
regional press such as Lastminute.com.
Newsquest has been particularly successful in the online world. It
publishes 21 community websites and was one of the founder members of
the Fish4 consortium.
See p2 and p9.