British businesses missing out on online opportunities despite strong demand

shopping trolley

Only 14 percent of British small businesses have been selling online in the last year according to the latest statistics from the European Commission. 

The report from the EU Digital Agenda team suggests that the UK is falling short of their target of 33 percent. Sweden, Germany and Ireland all have more small businesses trading online.

The report isn’t all bad news though as it shows 81 percent of the population go online regularly which is well above the EU average and more than 70 percent of shoppers have made a purchase over the internet

These figures suggest many small businesses are still missing out on online opportunities. You can compare how well your business makes the most of the internet compared to other companies of a similar size and sector by using our free online tool called NetCheck. It provides tips, advice and best practice examples in three different areas: listening to your customers, growing your business and cutting costs.

If you are planning to start selling online the following tips should also help: 

  • Consider carrying out some basic market research to find out what your customers like and what they might expect when buying online. 
  • First impressions are important so make sure your site looks professional and all the details are up to date to give customers confidence in your business. 
  • Make sure customers can easily buy from your site. Having lots of different pages and making them difficult to navigate might put people off buying.
  • Online shoppers will be cautious of being scammed so consider how you will protect their details. 
  • As your customers cannot see or touch your products it’s important to make sure your site offers detailed descriptions with photos and clear pricing.
  • Recording customer data can help with future marketing campaigns but make sure that you get permission to do so.

There is a lot more information in our online guides to online sales or setting up a business website.

 

 

Test yourself

News

  • Search engines, SEO and changing your site’s primary domain more »
  • Only two weeks to beat a huge cyber attack more »
  • In The News: The Heartbleed Bug more »

Need to know?

Twitter

The advice is to only connect USB devices if you know where they've been and are sure they are safe.
Sharing memory sticks or using USB to charge someone else’s phone could be more risky than expected according to new research.