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E-Commerce sales rise again as firms embrace digital era

30 Nov 2012
A shopping trolley sign

Businesses are continuing to embrace the benefits of good internet access and an online presence as figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed firms on average now generate 19 percent of their turnover via online sales.

The ONS' E-commerce and ICT Activity, 2011 report is based on its Annual Business Survey (ABS), which covers numerous sectors in the UK including production, retail and property and equates to sales of £483bn.

In 2010 online sales reached £425bn and accounted for 18 percent of turnover. The convenience of online selling through websites to consumers or channel portals to other businesses continues to change the commerce landscape.

Furthermore, the need for high-speed broadband to firms is now being seen with 34 percent of firms with over 1,000 employees boasting a connection of 100Mbit/s or higher, while 5.8 percent of all firms, including small and medium enterprises, are on a similar speed.

In total 93 percent of all business now have an internet connection and 81 percent have a website as the importance of being a fully digital, online business, in any sector, is seen as vital in the current market.

Underlining the growing benefit of mobile devices to workers, over half of all firms, 56 percent, said they provided at least one member of staff with a portable device, either a computer, smartphone or tablet in 2011.

This figure may well have grown in 2012, although with the establishing bring your own device trend, it could be that this decreases over time.

Backing up the rise in mobile devices is the willingness by businesses to pay for 3G contracts, with 57 percent paying for services in 2011.

This was up from 36 percent in 2009. The launch of 4G could also see businesses splashing out more for higher speed services as mobile working becomes a key component of the modern workforce.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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