The number of small businesses using the internet to sell their products and services has risen year-on-year by almost a third.
According to research by PeoplePerHour.com of 1,300 small and medium-sized businesses (SME), the past year has seen a 31 per cent rise in the number of small businesses selling online exclusively, and a 27 per cent increase in the number of small businesses selling more than half their products and services online.
Some 26 per cent of small businesses solely sell online, with 47 per cent making more than 50 per cent of their sales through the internet.
Results from the same question in last year’s survey reveal small businesses’ growing reliance on e-commerce over the course of just a year. In January 2011, just 18 per cent of respondents claimed to sell online exclusively, with 37 per cent claiming to make more than 50 per cent of their sales online.
PeoplePerHour CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou says, ‘The move to e-commerce won’t be news to the majority of observers of the UK small business sector. What will come as a surprise, however, is the pace with which the UK small business community is embracing the opportunities offered by the internet.
‘We’re witnessing a paradigm shift in the way small businesses market their products and sell their products and services – and it’s happening at an incredible pace.’
According to Thrasyvoulou, it is the reach and cost-effectiveness of ecommerce that makes it so attractive for small businesses.
‘The biggest incentive to sell online is the reach it affords you. Before widespread broadband internet, you were limited to a small, local market. Now nimble, forward-thinking SMEs can trade globally in minutes.’