UK businesses enjoy online sales surge

Online sales by UK businesses rocketed upwards by 29% to more than £130bn in 2006, official figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal.

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Online sales by UK businesses rocketed upwards by 29% to more than £130bn in 2006, official figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal.

Total internet sales rose from £101bn in 2005 to hit £130.4bn last year, representing 6.5% of the value of all sales by businesses outside the financial sector, the ONS survey of 8,000 UK businesses employing 10 people or more found.

Last year internet sales accounted for 5.4% of the value of all sales, while in 2002 the figure was just 1.1%. Seven out of 10 businesses had a website.

Sales to customers using new technologies other than the internet – such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), automated telephone systems and email – are also rising, increasing by 9.7% from £204.3bn in 2005 to £224.2bn in 2006.

Businesses are also purchasing far more goods and services online, the survey shows. Between 2005 and 2006, internet purchases rose by just over 34%, from £76.3bn to £102.5bn.

The proportion of businesses using the internet to interact with public authorities was just over 52%, a 4% rise on the previous year. And more than 39% of the businesses surveyed said they had software applications to manage the placing or receiving of orders.

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