Delivery charges for rural areas tackled by UK government

Thursday, 31st July 2014

The government has unveiled new principles aimed at tackling "ridiculous" delivery charges faced by shoppers in remote parts of the UK.

"They set out best practice for businesses such as couriers, online retailers and delivery firms. UK ministers believe they will lead to customers being charged a fair delivery price. The principles include making information about costs available up front when people are buying online."

"It comes after research from 2012 showed at least one million people in Scotland faced additional charges for delivery, had their parcels delayed or were even refused delivery altogether."

"Delivery charges should be clear up front, so people can decide to shop elsewhere if they feel the charges are excessive. Retailers need to get this right for shoppers across the whole of the UK and especially consider how they can best serve their customers in rural and island communities."

"For online retailers, too, transparent and equitable delivery charges mean fewer abandoned shopping carts and repeat custom."

More info here.

Mobile is the key to boost online shopping

Wednesday, 30th July 2014

More than 70% of mobile consumers shop online.

"Nearly half of mobile users (48%) made purchases online regularly, and 1 in 5 customers browse products online before buying in stores."

"In some countries mobile has become the most dominant shopping channel. In the Asia-Pacific region mobile leads the way for shopping, as more of the population turn to mobile as their primary device. A third (32%) shop with their mobiles compared to a fifth (21%) who shop via their computers."

More info here.

Facebook shifts ecommerce strategy, closes Gifts shop

Wednesday, 30th July 2014

Facebook has revealed plans to close its 2-year-old Gifts shop, as the social network starts testing other ways to allow consumers to buy products on its website.

"Facebook Gifts opened in 2012 as a way for users to buy gifts. The service stopped selling physical goods after a year, offering only gift cards from more than 100 merchants."

"Facebook is testing a ‘Buy’ button that will enable users to purchase goods from merchants without leaving the app."

More info here.

Austria: Bitcoin's financial status between 'yes' and 'no'

Wednesday, 30th July 2014

In Austria, 2 cabinet ministers have given guidance on Bitcoin’s status as a financial instrument and tax treatment, whereas Michael Spindelegger, federal minister for finance and vice chancellor, reiterated that the crypto-currency is not a financial instrument.

The finance minister has explained that citizens who sell Bitcoin holdings within a year of purchasing them would be subject to capital gains tax, but if the digital currency assets are held beyond a year, proceeds from a sale are not subject to taxation."

"Spindelegger claims that digital currency assets have to be declared as either fixed assets or working capital and classifies bitcoin mining profits subject to value-added tax (VAT) because the activity is comparable to industry labour."

More info here.

China Q2 2014: cross-border capital flow on a balanced track

Monday, 28th July 2014

Chinese cross-border capital flow recorded a balanced trend in Q2 2014, according to data on foreign currencies bought and sold by commercial banks.

"Chinese banks' net forex purchases remained at USD 29 billion in the respective time frame, falling by 21% as compared with Q2 2013 and plunging 82% from Q1 2014."

"In Q1 2014, Chinese banks registered USD 159.2 billion increase in net forex purchases, which represent the difference between foreign currency purchases and sales by commercial banks."

More info here.

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