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UK ecommerce revenues leap like a dachshund

Two per cent of retail sales nothing to bark at

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E-commerce in the UK accounts for just two per cent of total sales, according to official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

UK businesses totted up sales of £56.6 billion over the Net with firms in London and the South East amassing some £12 billion in online revenue.

Furthermore, almost 80 per cent of the total ecommerce sales derived solely from the financial sector.

From these figures it seems the UK has yet to warm to ecommerce and that it is dominated by the financial sector.

Critics will no doubt jump upon these figures as proof that the "new economy" is nothing but a passing fad that has failed to make a real impact.

Others might use these figures to bash the Government and its aim to make the UK the "best environment in the world for ecommerce".

Not so, said Magdalen Williams of the ONS. "The UK is comparable with the rest of the world including the US," she said. "There is nothing surprising in these results."

The analysis also reveals some interesting regional variations concerning the Net and ecommerce.

While 63 per cent of UK businesses have access to the Net, in Wales that figure dropped to 58 per cent while in the South East it topped 70 per cent.

And while 58 per cent of businesses in the South East said they had a Web site, in Northern Ireland the figure was just 38 per cent. ®

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