Here at ePages HQ we’re fanatical about eCommerce. We’re adamant that developing an online sales channel is key for many people aiming to grow their businesses.
But as it’s our job, you would be forgiven for thinking we might be a little bit biased!
So, we thought we’d do an investigation into the cold, hard facts about eCommerce.
We spent a couple of days trawling through data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the UK, and this is what we found out: eCommerce is a key driver in the growth of Retail Sales in the UK. In fact…
Internet Retail Sales accounted for 43% of Retail Sales growth in 2011
That’s a pretty impressive figure. How did we work it out?
– Well, at the end of 2011 Retail Sales totalled £302.7 billion. That was an increase of £10.4 billion from 2010.
– Internet Retail Sales increased by £4.5 billion in the same period, to reach an impressive £26.8 billion.
So if we compare both figures, we can see that the £4.5 billion increase in Internet Retail sales accounted for 43% of the £10.4 billion Retail Sales growth. We’ll admit, it’s a simple calculation – so are there other measures of eCommerce success in the UK economy?
Another indicator we can consider is the proportion of Retail Sales accounted for by Internet Retail Sales. In 2011, that figure was 8.9% (a sure increase from 2010, where they accounted for 7.6% of retail sales). The proportion of Retail Sales coming through online channels has consistently grown over the past few years and there’s no sign of Internet Retail Sales losing pace.
But what’s in store for 2012?
Can online sales maintain momentum in a continuingly sluggish economy? Entering the Spring season, the answer seems to be a resounding YES.
As we pored over our data table from the ONS, we noticed something remarkable in the first two months of the year. History was made in the UK Retail sector: the proportion of Internet Retail sales finally exceeded 10% of Retail Sales. You can imagine our reaction here at ePages! Then we noticed the figures showed something else too…
… In February 2012, Internet Retail sales accounted for over 89% of all growth in Retail Sales.
Now we’re not business advisors and we’re certainly not economists. Clearly our calculations are basic – but it’s hard to argue with these figures from the ONS. And it doesn’t take an expert in business or economics to see that eCommerce has become a driving force behind retail growth in the UK.
So what’s our point? It’s simple. Business owners should take note of these figures and give serious consideration to developing an online sales channel. eCommerce may not be for everyone, but it is generating retail growth for many businesses in the UK.
(Note; all data is sourced from the ONS in UK. Visit http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/datasets-and-tables/index.html to access the original data. Retail Sales figures included in this article are all excluding fuel.)