Ask most people what their overriding feeling is these first few days back in the office after Christmas and their response is unlikely to be 'optimism'. As Britain collectively shakes off its hangover, heads to the gym and wakes up in darkness, we can all be forgiven for a bout of the January blues.
The rise and rise of small-time sellers on ebay, Amazon and etsy is well documented; some of them should have their own queue at the Post Office when dispatching their goods. More recently the poster boys of the sharing economy Uber and Airbnb have given users the simple means to set up 'on the side'.
New technologies are also blurring the line between the online and brick and mortar shopping experiences. Shoppable windows are giving online retailers a physical "brick and mortar like" user experience while using digital technology to streamline the purchasing process and to speed up product deliveries.