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UK ONLINE MERCHANTS LOSE NEARLY HALF OF CHRISTMAS SHOPPERS AT THE CHECKOUT

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UK ONLINE MERCHANTS LOSE NEARLY HALF OF CHRISTMAS SHOPPERS AT THE CHECKOUT

PPRO Group survey reveals that online merchants are losing sales by failing to offer shoppers their preferred online payment method

Irritated UK online shoppers are abandoning their online shopping basket and shopping elsewhere because online merchants are failing to offer them their preferred payment option.

An insight into UK consumers’ shopping behaviour ahead of this Christmas’ shopping rush   was discovered by e-payment specialist, PPRO Group, following a survey of 1,000 UK adults.

The research revealed some telling online shopping frustrations with a third (31 per cent) of shoppers criticising online merchants for failing to offer their preferred payment option (41 per cent cited PayPal as their preferred payment method).  Close to half (47 per cent) say they abandon their online shopping baskets altogether and shop elsewhere as a result, plus a third (31 per cent) of shoppers say that the payment process was too complicated.

The research proves how the internet is revolutionising the way we shop as a massive 61 per cent of us will be buying gifts online at home while watching the TV and 13 per cent will shop while lying in bed at night.  Consumers also admitted to a more unusual place they like to shop, with one percent, equating to more than half a million of the UK’s population, saying they will do their Christmas online shopping while sat on the toilet.

However, shopping online may cause increased tension in the workplace this Christmas as 17 per cent admitted they will be buying their Christmas gifts online while at work, eating into their employer’s time.   More men seem to be more tempted into online shopping during working hours, while women prefer the comfort and peace of their own home.

The older generation is also warming to shopping online with close to half of over 55s (48 per cent) buying gifts online, presenting a huge opportunity for online merchants who witnessed the  grey market spend £14.6 billion online last year.

The device we use to shop online was somewhat surprising in an age of mobile commerce which accounts for 36 per cent of online retail spending.  Close to half of UK shoppers will switch on their laptop to purchase gifts, while only 14 per cent will use their smartphones and 13 per cent will browse for gifts on their tablets.

PPRO’s CEO, Simon Black, comments on the findings: “Our research paints the picture of a savvy shopper who has high expectations of online shopping.  They have the power of choice and the world of online merchants at their fingertips, and they know it.  Plus, they won’t stick around if they can’t pay for their gifts quickly and easily, especially at Christmas when stress levels are high.

“If online merchants want to succeed in cross-border sales, they need to do their homework and realise it’s not enough just to offer credit card payments. Countries in Europe and other regions all have their own preferred ways of paying, whether it be iDEAL in the Netherlands, online bank transfers in Germany or SEPA direct debit in the EURO zone. Only those merchants armed with their target audiences’ preferred local online payment methods will succeed during this busy festive period and beyond.”

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Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support – The Sunday Times

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Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support - The Sunday Times 1

(Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak is set to increase a tax on business to pay for an extension to COVID-19 support schemes in the budget next month, The Sunday Times reported https://bit.ly/3ujaBcU.

Sunak, in his speech on March 3, will announce he is increasing corporation tax from 19 pence in the pound and will outline a pathway where it rises to 23 pence in the pound by the time of the next general election, the report said. The move will raise an expected 12 billion pounds ($16.8 billion) a year, the report added.

According to the report, at least 1 pence is set to be added to the bill for business from this autumn, at a cost to business of 3 billion pounds, with further rises in subsequent years.

Allies of Sunak clarified he would not increase corporation tax higher than 23%.

These measures will be helpful in paying for an extension to the furlough scheme, VAT cuts and business support loans until at least August.

Unlike the 2010 Conservative-led government, which pursued spending cuts to rebalance the economy after the global financial crisis, Sunak is expected to defer most of the toughest decisions about how to pay for that support in his budget speech.

“The corporation tax hike will be higher than expected and the extension of the support schemes will be longer than most people expect,” the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

Insiders indicated the stamp duty holiday on property purchases would also be extended in line with the other coronavirus support measures, the report said.

Britain’s economy had its biggest slump in 300 years in 2020, when it contracted by 10%, and will shrink by 4% in the first three months of 2021, the Bank of England predicts.

($1 = 0.7136 pounds)

 

(Reporting by Vishal Vivek in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

 

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Foxconn chairman says expects “limited impact” from chip shortage on clients

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Foxconn chairman says expects "limited impact" from chip shortage on clients 2

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The chairman of Apple Inc supplier Foxconn said on Saturday he expects his company and its clients will face only “limited impact” from a chip shortage that has rattled the global automotive and semiconductor industries.

“Since most of the customers we serve are large customers, they all have proper precautionary planning,” said Liu Young-way, chairman of the manufacturing conglomerate formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd

“Therefore, the impact on these large customers is there, but limited,” he told reporters.

Liu said he expected the company to do well in the first half of 2021, “especially as the pandemic is easing and demand is still being sustained.”

The global spread of COVID-19 has increased demand for laptops, gaming consoles, and other electronics. This caused chip manufacturers to reallocate capacity away from the automotive sector, which was expecting a steep downturn.

Now, car manufacturers such as Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co have cut output as chip capacity has shrunk.

Counterpoint Research says the shortage has extended to the smartphone sector, with application processors, display driver chips, and power management chips all facing a crunch.

However, the research firm predicts Apple will face a minimal impact, due to its large size and its suppliers’ tendency to prioritise it. Apple is Foxconn’s largest customer.

Foxconn is looking at other areas for growth, including in electric vehicles (EVs), and Liu said their EV development platform MIH now had 736 partner companies participating.

He expected it would have two or three models to show by the fourth quarter, though did not expect EVs to make an obvious contribution to company earnings until 2023.

Liu also said the company was still looking for semiconductor fab purchase opportunities in Southeast Asia after not winning a bid to take over a stake in Malaysia-based 8-inch foundry house Silterra.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Jeanny Kao; Writing by Josh Horwitz; Editing by William Mallard and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules

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EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules 3

By Sabine Siebold and Kate Abnett

BERLIN (Reuters) – Europe and the United States should join forces in the fight against climate change and agree on a new framework for the digital market, limiting the power of big tech companies, European Union chief executive Ursula von der Leyen said.

“I am sure: A shared transatlantic commitment to a net-zero emissions pathway by 2050 would make climate neutrality a new global benchmark,” the president of the European Commission said in a speech at the virtual Munich Security Conference on Friday.

“Together, we could create a digital economy rulebook that is valid worldwide: a set of rules based on our values, human rights and pluralism, inclusion and the protection of privacy.”

The EU has pledged to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, while President Joe Biden has committed the United States to become a “net zero economy” by 2050.

Scientists say the world must reach net zero emissions by 2050 to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times and avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

The hope is that a transatlantic alliance could help persuade large emitters who have yet to commit to this timeline – including China, which is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2060, and India.

“The United States is our natural partner for global leadership on climate change,” von der Leyen said.

She called the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol a turning point for the discussion on the impact social media has on democracies.

“Of course, imposing democratic limits on the uncontrolled power of big tech companies alone will not stop political violence,” von der Leyen said. “But it is an important step.”

She was referring to a draft set of rules unveiled in December which aims to rein in tech companies that control troves of data and online platforms relied on by thousands of companies and millions of Europeans for work and social interactions.

They show the European Commission’s frustration with its antitrust cases against the tech giants, notably Alphabet Inc’s Google, which critics say have not addressed the problem.

But they also risk inflaming tensions with Washington, already irked by Brussels’ attempts to tax U.S. tech firms more.

Von der Leyen said Facebook’s decision on a news blackout on Thursday in response to a forthcoming Australian law requiring it and Google to share revenue from news underscored the importance of a global approach to dealing with tech giants.

(Additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robin Emmott and Nick Macfie; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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