The number of UK firms that regularly make purchases over the internet has almost doubled during the past year, according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS 2003 e-commerce survey of business ICT usage found that 29 per cent of businesses bought goods and services using e-commerce in 2003, up from just 13 per cent in 2002.
The latest annual poll reaffirmed that larger businesses have greater ICT usage, but that the use of ICT is typically growing faster among smaller businesses. This partly reflects the earlier investment by larger companies.
Other key findings include a jump in the percentage of businesses with internet access, up from 59 per cent in 2002 to 62 per cent in 2003. This increase was found to be largest for small businesses, i.e. those with fewer than 50 employees.
One in four businesses indicated that they used broadband as the primary method of internet connection at the end of 2003, a rise from one in seven in 2002.
Overall the number of people with access to the internet at work rose from 6.5 million at the end of 2002, to 7.1 million at the end of 2003.
In addition, almost a third of businesses reported having a website in 2003, compared to 29 per cent in 2002.
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