Bloxx Warns Online Shopping Could Cost UK Businesses Plenty This Christmas

Bloxx, the web content filtering specialist, warns that as the credit crunch bites deeper and more consumers than ever plan to carry out their Christmas shopping online this year, the number of employees surfing shopping sites whilst at work could be set to increase.

The UK has witnessed record online sales this year. According to research from Internet Retailing, shoppers spent 26.5 billion online in the first six months of 2008, up 38% on the 19.2 billion recorded for the same period last year. This figure is set to soar over the festive period, with two-thirds of consumers claiming they are now more likely to shop online for Christmas presents.

According to the Business Software Alliance, 46% of online shopping happens during working hours, and whilst some of this will be business related, there is strong evidence to suggest that personal online shopping during working hours is a growing problem.

"With the Christmas shopping season already underway and the increasing popularity of online shopping, employers must remain vigilant when it comes to regulating Internet access at work", comments Bloxx's CEO, Eamonn Doyle. "The temptation for employees to make a start on their Christmas shopping during office hours is sometimes all too alluring. Companies need to ensure that they have the correct procedures and adequate systems in place to prevent staff from spending excessive amounts of time surfing non-work related sites."

The e-CSI index also reveals that 58% of respondents are looking to commence their Christmas shopping earlier this year in order to spread the cost, citing the economic slowdown as the primary motive. "Shopping online is of course incredibly convenient, yet it also allows people to shop around for the best possible bargains, which is even more appealing in the current economic climate", adds Doyle.

"The cost to UK businesses due to staff spending inordinate amounts of time shopping online during working hours could be enormous. Employers need to act now by ensuring that they have a comprehensive Acceptable Internet Usage Policy in place, before the Christmas shopping season is in full swing."

Go to Bloxx's Cost Calculator and input figures relevant to your company to find out how much your organisation could be wasting every year due to idle surfing.

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