Scots Claim U.K. E-Commerce Lead

[London, ENGLAND] It’s only a narrow lead, but government-funded
agency Scottish Enterprise claims 29 percent of businesses in
Scotland now “trade online” — compared to a total U.K. figure of
27 percent.

Looked at another way, the figures released by Scottish Enterprise
on Tuesday show that 79 percent of Scottish businesses have an
online presence, which is actually slightly lower than the U.K.
average of 81 percent.

Either way, Scotland and the rest of the U.K. are revealed to
be in the top group countries that use e-commerce, along with
Canada, the U.S., Sweden and Germany. And of those businesses in
Scotland that are not using e-commerce, 75 percent say they
intend to adopt it — a figure that is exactly the same for the
U.K. as a whole.

Robert Crawford, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said
the figures were good news for Scotland. Noting that only
60 percent of Scottish businesses were online last year he
said that significant progress has clearly been made, although
there is no room for complacency.

Charlie Watt, director of e-business at Scottish Enterprise,
thought that Scotland had enhanced its competitive position
in relation to the U.K. as a whole this year.

“We intend to help accelerate the adoption of e-applications,
giving businesses the competitive edge they require to ensure
future profitability,” said Watt.

Among other statistics released by Scottish Enterprise on
Tuesday were that 87 percent of Scotland’s workforce work in
businesses connected to the Internet. (Again, this is slightly
lower than the U.K. as a whole where the figure — according
to Scottish Enterprise — is 9 out of 10).

The figures, however, do not include so-called “micro-businesses,”
that is, firms with with fewer than 10 employees. 53 percent
of Scottish micro-businesses are now online compared with 55
percent in the U.K. as a whole. Last year, this figure for U.K.
was only 15 percent.

For the purposes of the study, Scottish Enterprise defined
trading online as meaning the use of either online ordering
or online payments, in either inward or outward direction.
This very broad definition may account for the figures appearing
to be so surprisingly high.

News Around the Web