E-commerce is gaining steam in the UK and more and more companies are embarking on measures to improve their online performance in order to generate higher returns, I read in the E-commerce and ICT activity report published by the Office of National Statistics.
E-sales contributed 19% to local brands’ revenues last year, which is up from the 18% recorded in 2010, which means that e-commerce poured £483 billion into the country’s economy during the period.
Larger companies, with a headcount of 1,000 or more, remained the strongest players in the e-commerce space, accounting for 46% of the total online sales generated in 2011.
Sales made directly over companies’ websites have enjoyed solid growth in recent years, with their share in the total turnover going up to 5% from 4.6% in 2011. Last year, 17% of brands sold directly through their websites, against just 13% three years earlier. Currently, a total 81% of UK businesses have a website, the report also found. Electronic data interchange (EDI) sales, in turn, contributed 14% to the country’s turnover, which is nearly three times higher than website sales.
When looking at the breakdown by sectors, it emerges that the highest levels of online sales were recorded by the wholesale and manufacturing industries, which generated e-sales of £181 billion and £149 billion, respectively. The uptrend was felt across all industries when compared to 2010; the construction and accommodation and food service segments saw a relatively modest improvement rate, but it’s worth mentioning that online sales in these industries were more than double the volumes recorded in 2008.