Companies which have embraced the online world are generally doing better than those concentrating mainly on the offline market. This is certainly one of the most visible trends to emerge in the business world over the last few years.
The latest report from the Boston Consulting Group confirms those impressions with some solid data. Among SME's in the G-20 countries, those with high-Web presence have experienced growth 22% higher than those with low or no Web use over the last 3 years. In the UK sales at companies which maximise the web environment have increased six times as fast as in those based purely offline. E-commerce businesses are also able to create more jobs than those with no web presence.
Such trends are likely to gain even more momentum. The BCG reports that by 2016 some 3 billion people will be connected to the Internet - that's a staggering half of the world's population. The power of the web is already huge, with the Internet's contribution amounting to up to 8% of GDP in some countries and is growing steadily.
Looking a bit closer at our domestic market the contribution to our GDP from Internet businesses is already higher than that of construction and education. It is true that these two sectors are going through a tough time as a result of the credit crunch but the e-commerce industry is exceeding any expectations in terms of growth and revenue despite such difficulties.
Due to good infrastructure consumers in the UK have learned that they can rely on having their purchases delivered quickly and have embraced online retail much more than other nations. This is why many online businesses which start in the UK are able to make substantial profits even before they've reached out to other markets.
The future of British e-commerce looks rosy too, as 23% of retail sales on these shores are predicted to be made online in 2016, almost 10% more than we saw in 2010.
Perhaps most importantly businesses embracing the online world are more likely to have a diverse customer base spanning across many different countries giving them a lot more room to grow.
E-commerce really does look to be the future of retail as well as many other sectors.
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