The giftware and greeting card industry sectors are the subjects of the latest government ‘impact studies’ measuring the effects of e-commerce on UK plc. The reports are part of a wide-ranging DTI programme that is examining e-commerce across a wide variety of key business sectors in the UK.
In the giftware sector 92% of companies have external e-mail, above the national average; 59% have websites, of which 85% use e-mail to trade directly with customers; while two thirds of those with websites sell direct to end-consumers or expect to develop this capability in the next two years.
In the greeting cards sector 79% of companies currently have or plan to have a website within the next two years; 70% expect e-commerce to transform the sector in the future and lead to convergence with other sectors; while two thirds expect e-commerce to increase competition in the sector.
The latest studies included interviews with more than 150 companies across both sectors.
E-commerce minister Douglas Alexander said: ‘These sectors have made good progress in adopting and developing e-business solutions. These sectors are taking on the challenges and replacing traditional methods and opening up new ways of doingbusiness.
‘Our research is central to the Government’s aim of making the UK the best place in the world for e-commerce. It highlights the major issues which most businesses need to address if they are to remain competitive in the modern high technology world.’
A separate study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the DTI, on the impact of e-commerce on the glassware industry found that only 14% of the companies surveyed are using the medium for online ordering and less than 10% use online payment.
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