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Small British businesses 'not keeping up with technology'

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By The Drum Team | Editorial

June 19, 2012 | 2 min read

Only 14% of British small businesses sold their products online over the last year, the European Commission’s Digital Agenda found, less than half of the 33% that it has predicted to be selling online by 2015.

Describing British businesses as 'not keeping up with technology', the Commission found that 71% of British people currently shop online, ahead of the target of 50%, while 81% use the internet once a week.

Adam Stewart, marketing director Rakuten’s Play.com commented on the research: “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. You don’t need to hire a web developer to get involved either, using marketplaces like Rakuten’s Play.com, small retailers can avoid the administrative headaches of payment systems and portal set-up, and simply get products quickly to market.

“Better still, using social tools like Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, small businesses can market their business at a fraction of the cost and resource previously required. 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.”

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