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Smallest UK businesses behind on ecommerce

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UK micro businesses lag behind their European counterparts in their use of ecommerce, a new study has found.

For only 59% of UK businesses employing 10 people or less see ecommerce as a business opportunity, compared to 72% of European businesses of the same size, Epson Business Council research carried out by Coleman Parkes found.

While 94% of Italian microbusinesses sell products or services online, only 78% of UK businesses do so, the study, which surveyed 1,250 businesses across five European countries, found.

And the study found many businesses yet to be convinced by social media Some 60% of UK businesses had a Twitter profile, while 31% had a Facebook page, but 42% had no idea where to start on social media. Only 25% felt that social media had helped to level the playing field, giving them the same opportunities as larger firms.

Sara Murray, founder of and personal emergency response service Buddi and a member of the Epson Business Council, said: “While it is encouraging to see that most of the UK’s micro businesses are now involved in e-commerce in some way, it is concerning that so many still regard the area as a threat.

“Understanding how to harness social media, combined with the increasing popularity of e-commerce, should offer micro businesses an avenue for growth which they can’t afford to ignore.”

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