Online customer engagement key to recovery
Online businesses account for 8.3% of Britain’s economy but we can expect even stronger future growth from this sector according to Gary David Smith – co-founder of Prism Total IT Solutions.
“Britain’s online businesses generated more than £121 billion for the UK economy in 2010 which is the equivalent of about £2,000 for each individual and a much bigger contribution than from the healthcare, construction or education sectors,” said Mr Smith – whose company supplies complete IT support to over 1000 SME’s nationwide.
“Future growth of internet sales will impact particularly on small and medium sized companies who often base their businesses around a web presence,” said Mr Smith. “It is the growth to these companies that will create the new jobs that our economy so desperately needs.”
Research published from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) indicate that internet sales to SME’s have increased by a yearly average of 12.5% over the last three years.
According to BCG, 13.5% of all UK sales were completed online and they project that figure to rise to 23% by 2016.
The UK’s online sales are growing much faster than other developed economies. BCG predicts growth of 5.4% to America’s online sales and 6.9% for China.
“I would just inject one note of caution,” said Gary David Smith. “New, thrusting young business are often looking for efficiencies right from the start and we are seeing a tendency to be over reliant on Cloud computing.”
“We preach that the Cloud should be viewed as a complimentary service to a company’s business infrastructure, not a replacement for it. Not having control of your own data can cause problems for businesses dependent on online sales.”
“No doubt many of the problems with the Cloud will be addressed over time and for some businesses the benefits of the Cloud still outweigh these disadvantages. However, businesses need a rounded picture before making costly decisions which will affect the accessibility and security of their data and move them a step further away from control of their business operations and dependent upon a Cloud Service Provider (CSP),” he said.