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UK Consumers Out-Shop US Consumers Online

November 12, 2008

NEW YORK, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ — While online shopping is expected to increase worldwide in 2008, there is a clear difference between the online purchasing habits of the US consumer versus his/her counterpart in the UK. In fact, the average UK consumer will spend 40 percent more online than the average US consumer and make 24 percent more purchases online, according to a new study from JupiterResearch and commissioned by LinkShare, a leading pay-per-action marketing network provider.*

As global economic conditions continue to erode consumer confidence worldwide, UK consumers are more likely than their US counterparts to leverage the Internet as a critical resource in their decision-making process before — and during — the purchase of goods and services of all types. The survey results, which sought to identify consumer behavior, preferences and opinions for online shopping primarily in the UK, were compared to earlier findings from a similar report focused on the U.S. market. Among the comparisons, US consumers are much less aggressive when shopping for bargains online, with the average UK consumer eight times more likely to conduct research on multiple sites before making an online purchase. In addition, UK consumers are 13 percent more likely to be a frequent online buyer than their U.S. peers.

“We were surprised to find that US consumers lag behind their UK counterparts in how they use the Internet to help stretch their dollars in a tough economy,” said Yasuhisa “Yaz” Iida, co-president, LinkShare. “The web enables consumers worldwide to make smarter buying decisions with easy access to product research and consumer reviews, as well as a quick ways to check what other consumers think about products. It’s clear that retailers looking to weather the current economic storm should expand their presence online, and continue to look for ways to deepen their customer relationships online.”

A powerful means of establishing relationships with buyers and driving repeat business, according to the study, is through ongoing promotions, which also help to deepen customer relationships and increase loyalty. Related findings include:

   --  Approximately 45 percent of online buyers say regular promotions are       influential in their decisions to continue to purchase from an online       seller they have purchased from in the past.   --  A third of online buyers say loyalty schemes and cash back sites       influence their online purchasing decisions.   --  Luxury shoppers have influence over their friends' purchasing       decisions and tend to be very loyal to brands and retailers.  They are       more responsive to seller and affiliate promotions for repeat       purchases.   

* Major Trends in UK Online Retail: Attracting and Retaining Customers, JupiterResearch (9/08).

About JupiterResearch

JupiterResearch provides unbiased research, analysis and advice, backed by proprietary data, to help companies profit from the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on their business. The company helps online businesses make critical decisions about technology selection, spending, staffing, and Web site effectiveness; advises consumer-facing companies with online advertising, marketing, and customer service strategies to understand, attract, convert and retain customers; and guides technology vendors and service providers on market opportunity, positioning, product definition, and pricing. JupiterResearch is headquartered in New York City and has offices throughout the US and Europe. For more information, visit http://www.jupiterresearch.com/.

About LinkShare Corporation

LinkShare Corporation provides ecommerce businesses with a vast, high quality pay per action marketing network, along with expert consultative services and patented technology. LinkShare’s cost-efficient pay per action (PPA) affiliate, search and lead generation campaigns acquire new customers, increase revenue and drive results. LinkShare clients are Fortune 500 and prominent companies doing business online, including J.C. Penney, 1-800-Flowers.com, American Express and Avon Products. LinkShare was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, London and Tokyo.

About Rakuten

Headquartered in Tokyo, Rakuten is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive Internet service companies, providing leading services in e-commerce, portal & media, travel, financial services, and professional sports. Rakuten focuses on new business development and increasing its scope in order to improve and diversify service offerings. Rakuten is a publicly traded company in Japan (JASDAQ: 4755).

LinkShare Corporation

CONTACT: Mark Kirschner, LinkShare, +1-646-943-8359,mkirschner@linkshare.com; or Kristin Parran, Blanc & Otus Public Relations,+1-617-451-6070, kparran@blancandotus.com

Web Site: http://www.linkshare.com/




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