In the Last Year Only 14% of British Small Businesses Sold Online

This fact, brought to us by the European Commission’s Digital Agenda, may surprise you. Especially, as it is less than half of the 33% predicted by 2015.

The Commission describes British businesses as ‘not keeping up with technology’, this in a modern day world where 71% of British people buy online (above the expected 50%) and 81% use the internet once a week. Britain has also exceeded targets fopr getting internet access to disadvantaged people and for bringing people online for the first time.

Commission Vice President, Neelie Kroes said “We are shooting ourselves in the foot by under-investing.”

According to The Telegraph, the Commission’s report highlighted a number of areas that governments across Europe should address, including a lack of technological skills among half the European workforce.

Adam Stewart, Marketing Director Rakuten’s commented, “It was frustrating to read statistics from the European Commisssion’s Digital Agenda team this morning, which revealed that just 14% of small businesses sell their products online, despite the fact that 71% of Brits currently shop online.

“The internet should be liberating Britain’s smaller retailers. The web is essentially a customisable shop front, requiring minimal infrastructure costs, while attracting footfall beyond the confines of the high street.

“Ultimately, we’re living in a world where digital presence increasingly validates the physical world and all businesses need to respond or be left behind.”

The cost of getting to market is decreasing enabling many smaller businesses who otherwise may not have been able to start trading online to develop and online shop and web presence.

The potential of electronic business for the smaller merchant cannot be underestimated.

Sources:,, right to reply