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The advent of super-fast broadband has made a significant difference to the way business is conducted online, it has been claimed.

Writing for the Plusnet blog, Jon Smith, an electronic marketing specialist at Insight UK, said the modern internet is changing the way people interact with brands and businesses.

He said that, within the space of a decade, broadband has gone from being a new technology which many households could not afford, to one that is used in the vast majority of homes.

"As we fast forward to 2012, the world could not be more different," Mr Smith told the broadband provider.

"The penetration of broadband access in internet-enabled homes is now at 94 per cent and more than a quarter of users have super-fast broadband."

This has affected that consumer purchasing process at every stage, from the search for information to the actual point of purchase, he claimed.

Mr Smith said that simplicity and flexibility of online shopping is causing customers to make their purchases online, making an ecommerce site a necessity for any retail business.

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