23 November 2010 by Web Bureau
New figures showing that eCommerce is growing by 10 per cent year-on-year in the UK should be taken as a catalyst for Northern Irish businesses to improve their online operations.That is the message from Belfast web design company Web Bureau following the publication of a survey commissioned by Google UK. The survey shows that online business is already worth £100bn to the UK economy, some 7.2 per cent of GDP.
That figure does not even take business-to-business eCommerce, worth an estimated £360bn, and online advertising, worth £3.5bn, into account.
Northern Ireland businesses have traditionally lagged behind in embracing the online revolution. Government statistics from 2004 show that just 28 per cent of Northern Irish businesses were trading on the internet at that time, compared to 44 per cent in some UK regions.
The figures were published in a Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment report which acknowledged: ”NI businesses need to become more intensive in their use of e-commerce as a means of doing business.”
More businesses in the province should take note of that encouragement, according to Web Bureau’s director Paul Haslam.
He said: “Northern Ireland has always being playing catch-up when it comes to eCommerce. While the situation has improved considerably since the 2004 statistics were published, many businesses have not yet recognised the potential for growth provided by online sales.”
Web Bureau specialises in partnering companies which are beginning or improving their online presence to quickly establish or increase turnover through e-commerce.
Paul continued: “Our customers and other Northern Irish companies who have begun trading online already know that there is profit to be made in e-commerce. The figures showing 10 per cent annual growth back that up.
“It is time more NI businesses started reaping these rewards and positioned themselves for a future in which eCommerce will continue to grow.”