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Britain's smaller companies anticipate e-commerce boom

02 January 2013 - 16:19 by Mike Price

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Although there is still much talk of the doom and gloom facing high street retailers as a result of the growth in sales made via safe shopping online, the reality is that e-commerce is helping the UK's economy.

This is a viewpoint supported by the findings of a recent Royal Mail study, which questions small and medium sized enterprises about their expectations for the coming year, from the point of view of online performance.

Two thirds of respondents said that while the market for safe shopping online is highly competitive, they believe that they can secure growth in this sector over the course of 2013.

Analysts believe that we will spend about 300 billion online this year, which is a rise that only keeps pace with inflation, rather than marking significant growth, as has been seen in previous years.

However, this is not preventing many businesses from adopting a sunny disposition when it comes to their expectations of online sales.

Most believe that the best way to be competitive in the world of e-commerce is to diversify their product offerings.

Another route to success involves making it as easy as possible for customers to receive their orders, as well as giving them access to a comprehensive returns service, if they are not completely satisfied.

Thirty five per cent of SMEs questioned as part of the study said that they would be creating mobile-oriented services in 2013, to account for the sharp rise in the number of consumers who are using smartphones and tablets to conduct e-commerce activities.

This is sensible, since only 10 per cent of respondents said that their company already has an m-commerce site or smartphone app on offer.

SMEs are embracing online shopping and the competitive nature of the market means that consumers are bound to get a better experience this year.