Britons are falling victim to drunken online shopping binges warns Conchango
~ urges shoppers to beware of BLOTO syndrome ~

A growing number of Britons are shopping online after one too many drinks, resulting in the spread of a new syndrome called BLOTO (Buying Loads Of Tat Online), according to Conchango, the customer experience specialist.

As part of its investigations into online spending behaviour, Conchango commissioned research from GfK NOP (formerly known as NOPWorld) which found that 7 percent of Britons know someone who has shopped online while under the influence.

Conchango believes that while many UK consumers are able to curb their desires as sober high street shoppers, these inhibitions quickly disappear when they reach for the mouse in a state of intoxication.

And the signs are that BLOTO is set to get worse. By 2009, the value of the online shopping market will have risen to £80 billion, as one in four retail purchases in the UK are made online, according to the Interactive Media Retail Group.

In a further twist, the GfK NOP survey also found that 6 percent of all Britons know someone who has shopped online in a state of undress.

“In the past, experts have said that consumers are often put off shopping online through security fears,” said Paul Dawson, head of customer experience at Conchango. “But it would appear that all caution is going out of the window following a drunken session.”

“These findings throw a new light on Internet spending and pose a number of questions for retailers as they develop new online products and services. While it’s important that retailers offer a consistent experience across all channels, they need to bear in mind that many of their customers will behave very differently when in the comfort of their own homes and ‘hidden’ behind the anonymity afforded by the Internet. This is underlined by the fact that many do it in a state of undress.”

Dawson continued: “This makes web customers very hard to predict without detailed and specific insight, especially as what they say they will do is often not what actually happens. Retailers should consider how this impacts web-shopping decision-making and tailor new online facilities, features and services accordingly.”

Published on: 12:00AM on 8th November 2005