ALMOST a third of firms in the region are missing out on valuable online sales by shying away from e-commerce, according to results of a recent study.
A quarterly survey, which seeks to canvass the opinion of SME owners across the UK has revealed that, while the majority of respondents in the East Midlands claim to understand the Internet’s potential for expanding their business, only two per cent currently conduct more than half of their business online.
Regional Sales Director for Close Brothers Invoice Finance, which carried out the survey, Martin Manley, said: “Research shows that online sales are forecast to grow by 10.9 per cent year-on-year, and expected to contribute £225 billion to the overall economy by 2016.
“This figure demonstrates how small businesses could miss out on opportunities for strategic advantage if they don’t embrace the online marketplace sooner rather than later.
“E-commerce provides a wealth of opportunities for SMEs to market their products to a wider audience and increase the potential for exports.
“With over a fifth of UK mobile Internet users now making purchases on their smart phones, the growth in mobile devices is reforming the way consumers shop.
“As increasing numbers of people now make purchases at the click of a button, an ‘armchair economy’ is emerging in Britain, and shoppers now expect to be able to buy online.”