UK SMEs slow on e-commerce uptake

The survey, by incubator Xworks, also found that UK small businesses had little idea what the actual cost of setting up a website would be, with over 90% of respondents estimating it at less than £1000. The actual cost, according to Xworks, is between £6,000 and £10,000.

The survey of 250 businesses – a tiny fraction of the UK’s estimated 3.7 million total – found that 48% of respondents did not have a website at all, and that 45% said they did not understand the benefits of having a website.

John Drummond, chief executive of Xworks, said that the findings had worrying implications for the UK economy. ‘Many small businesses are underestimating the cost of using the internet for e-commerce. Cutting corners is a false economy – you need to make a reasonable commitment to be successful online,’ he warned.

The figures paint a more pessimistic picture of UK SMEs than another survey, published last month by Durlacher, which found that UK internet investment was on the increase. Durlacher estimated the average SME spend on e-business technology would rise over the coming year from £18,200 to £21,500.

This article first appeared on

Links e-business section

E-business: Tricks of the e-trade

Related reading