As part of the Epson Business Council project, we looked at how the UK’s micro businesses are using e-commerce to sell products and services. Surprisingly, we found that one in three feel threatened by e-commerce, rather than seeing it as an opportunity. When it is considered that £13.4bn* will be spent online in the UK this holiday season, this seems like a wasted opportunity.
Our research also reveals a lack of understanding amongst small businesses on how to use social media for marketing and other business purposes. 42% of UK micro businesses have no idea where to start when it comes to using social media for online/digital marketing. This could also limit their exposure to business opportunities this Christmas.
It could be that while larger organisations have the resources and training budget to get ahead when it comes to selling online and marketing via social media, one-man bands and businesses with fewer than 10 staff don’t have the time or expertise to take advantage of the opportunities in this area, setting them at a disadvantage to larger competitors.
And it seems the Government recognises this issue. It recently announced the launch of the Web Fuelled Business Initiative to offer UK start-ups greater understanding of the web through a series of free e-commerce schemes for more than 3,500 firms to run from January to March next year.
So are e-commerce and social media still baffling your business or are you expecting a rise in online sales over the Christmas period? We’d love to hear your views.