Only 3% of smaller retailers trade online

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Only 3% of smaller retailers trade online

Karen Gomm
Only 3% of small and medium-sized retailers are trading online despite growing consumer demand for the service, according to a survey by PFA Research.

The main reason cited for not doing business over the internet was a lack of resources - both financial and a lack of skilled IT staff. Only 10% of retailers blamed a lack of interest from consumers.

The majority of retailers selling online are small businesses of less than 10 staff, according to the report, which was commissioned by software supplier Actinic. This would suggest that many SMEs are missing an opportunity.

Of the small proportion of the 539 retailers surveyed who were doing business online, 72% said their websites were profitable, compared to 53% last year.

Of those retailers considering trading online, 32% of companies said they were concerned about buying unsuitable software or hardware and an equal proportion blamed a lack of time for not setting up an e-tailing site.

Meanwhile, research from analyst firm Forrester has found that UK internet shoppers spent an average of £237 each over a three month period. It suggested that retailers needed to design sites to serve multiple types of user and use multi-channel marketing to encourage more online shoppers.

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