3 Resources

3.11 E-commerce

Why is it significant?

E-commerce gives businesses the opportunity to make improvements to their internal processes, shorten their supply chains and reduce the cost of processing transactions.  It lowers search costs by increasing access to, and lowering the cost of, information, for both business and consumers. 

How does the UK perform?

The DTIs Business in the Information Age: An International Benchmarking Study 2001 shows that 49 per cent of UK businesses either allow their customers to order on-line, or order from their suppliers on-line themselves.  Of the G7 countries, this is behind the US, Germany and Canada (Chart 3.11.1).  In terms of on-line payment, 27 per cent of UK businesses either allow their customers to make payment on-line or pay their suppliers themselves on-line.  This places the UK behind only Germany in comparison to its G7 competitors.  For both measures of on line trading, the UKs level of activity is lower than it was last year.

The UK performs well in terms of e-commerce sales.  The value of business to business (B2B) sales in the UK is higher as a percentage of GDP than all of our G7 competitors, with the exception of the US (Chart 3.11.2). The proportion of B2C retail sales in the UK is below that of the US, but ahead of Germany, France(Chart 3.11.3)

Last updated on 20 November 2003