November 23, 2012 - Rachel Miller

Also in the news this week – 23rd November 2012

Positive signs as Christmas spending increases online

Christmas spending has jumped by almost £5 per order, according to a study of more than 11,000 online shops. E-commerce provider ekmPowershop has found that shoppers are spending an average of £4.76 more every time they shop online compared to this time last year. Antony Chesworth of ekmPowershop said: "This represents an 8% rise in value on every order made on the internet." A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has found that online prices for goods have dropped by 1.2% this Christmas.

Hilary Devey is most respected business celebrity

Hilary Devey has taken the top spot for the celebrity we'd most like to receive business advice from, ahead of Richard Branson, Karren Brady and Alan Sugar, according to a survey from Jurys Inn and CrossCountry Trains. Almost a fifth (17%) of the 1,000 business men and women surveyed would welcome advice from the Dragon. Next came Richard Branson (13%) and Karren Brady (12%). George Osborne took fourth place, followed by Alan Sugar. Vince Cable was the least popular, securing just 1% of the votes.

F-commerce takes off

F-commerce is growing, according to data from Ecwid, makers of a Facebook shopping cart application. The number of sales made via its customers' Facebook stores grew by 36% in the third quarter of 2012. And the cumulative number of individual Facebook store orders also grew, rising by 39%. Jim O'Hara, president of Ecwid, said: "While some big name retailers have misfired at Facebook commerce, we see a different story with small businesses, which seem to be more effective at connecting personally with social audiences."

Shoppers browse on the high street, but buy online

One in three Brits use the high street just to window-shop, according to research for digital wallet provider Skrill. When out shopping, 22.8% of Brits have compared prices on their mobile, while a third have saved the details of an item in order to complete check-out later online (33.6%) or have seen something in a store but ordered it online at another time (33.8%). And a small, but potentially significant, 7.4% of high street shoppers have used their mobile phone to buy something while they were in the store.

HMRC taskforces target tax cheats

The first taskforces to tackle tax cheats in the rag trade and alcohol industry have been launched by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). In particular, they are targeting the rag trade in the Midlands, North Wales and North West and the alcohol industry in Scotland. In addition, a taskforce will focus on the rental property sector in the South East. They are expected to recover around £17 million.