The Big Question – FDs forsee e-commerce

Nearly three-quarters of finance directors in the UK believe e-commerce is the way forward for business and will change the way they operate, writes Ben Griffiths.

This week’s Big Question survey, carried out by Accountancy Age and Reed Accountancy Personnel, found that almost 40% of FDs felt e-commerce would definitely change business practice, while 30% thought it would probably change their businesses.

Only 18% thought it would not have any impact on business, while just over 12% remained neutral.

Most FDs thought e-commerce would make a major impact within the next three years with 27% saying it would affect business within a year and 33% believing it would have an effect in between one and three years’ time.

Just 14% of FDs thought e-commerce would take more than three years to have any effect, while 9% said it would never have any impact and 17% gave no timescale.

‘E-commerce is the way forward,’ said Cadogan Holidays FD Lee Blunden.

‘In the long term, the companies which recognise and invest in e-commerce will succeed.’

Of the respondents who thought e-commerce would have no impact, Bellway Homes regional FD Andrew Emmerson said: ‘E-commerce is currently hype only. Companies are using it, not because of any commercial advantage, but because it is there, and in our technological age any change is perceived as good.’

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