The rapid expansion of Britain’s online business community

Data Insights 24 April 2013

The online business community is outperforming the economy as a whole.

A new report has underlined the burgeoning state of Britain’s online business community, with figures showing that these firms are expanding more than 50 times faster than the economy as a whole.

The study, produced by Barclays, shows that online sales increased by 10.1 per cent in the first week of April, as compared to a fall of 4.8 per cent across overall retail spending.

Research found that the average online company saw 11.4 per cent compound annual growth over the last 3 years.

In fact, around half of those questioned confirmed that they enjoyed double-digit growth over that time; in that same timeframe, the UK economy witnessed growth of 0.2 per cent.

“Online businesses have bucked the trend over the last three years and experienced success in spite of the stagnant economic conditions,” commented Sean Duffy, the Managing Director and Head of Technology, Media and Telecoms at the firm.

He added, “The next challenge for companies operating online is sustaining this level of growth and ensuring that they take advantage of new and rising trends.”

On this basis, Mr Duffy advised businesses to become mobile-ready, especially with the imminent implementation of 4G networks across the UK.

And he warned those firms that fail to take advantage of the ever-expanding list of web-based opportunities that they “risk losing out on valuable e-commerce opportunities”.

Meanwhile, online retail spending grew by 10.5 per cent in early April, while overall spending dropped by 4.8 per cent.

Added to this, spending on food and drink was 21 per cent down in the first week of April, compared to the same time in 2012.

This comes shortly after a report by TalkTalk Business said that the UK’s small and medium-sized business community is increasingly keen to embrace new technology as a means of driving growth.

The research found almost 80 per cent of companies feel that technology plays an essential part in their plans for success.

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