Media Release: Scottish firms lag behind in online shopping opportunity – say experts

TOMORROW will see the busiest day for online sales as Mega Monday springs into action.

Begins a spokesperson: “Sales are set to peak at between 12noon – 1pm when people are expected to use their lunch break to spend a whopping £23.2m online on Christmas presents.(1)

“But while the UK spends more per person than those in the US, and generates more online sales than anywhere country in Europe, businesses in Scotland are missing out on the action with a smaller share than could be expected of overall UK online figures. (2)

“The success of companies as diverse as Amazon and ASOS has led to many Scottish firms successfully going online, as diverse as Arran Aromatics, Moray Seafoods, activ8 and guitarguitar.

“Given the population size relative to the UK, it would be reasonable to assume that 10 per cent of all UK online sales should be secured by Scottish businesses, however, not one Scottish company is amongst the top 50 online shops in the UK. (3)”

Polly Purvis, executive director of ScotlandIS, the trade body that represents eCommerce suppliers said: “eCommerce stores are the perfect playing field for small Scottish companies. They eliminate the boundaries of geography and size, allowing Scottish SMEs to compete across the UK and beyond.

“With increasingly savvy consumers, improved security, better fulfilment and faster broadband access, Scottish firms need to grasp this opportunity with both hands and make full use of this important customer channel.”

The spokesperson added: “Indeed, latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that e-commerce sales have rocketed again by almost a quarter from the 2008 estimate, to £408.3bn in 2009. (4)

“Not only that, more than 600,000 UK jobs are now either directly created or in support of the UK’s estimated 150,000 online retail businesses. Whereas the average number of staff that businesses employed when they started trading was five, today the average number of employees is 30.”

Tino Nombro, managing director of Ambergreen Internet Marketing, said:

“eCommerce has revolutionised how we do business over the last ten years.

“There have been many changes over that period and there are many more changes yet to come in such a fast moving landscape.

“Social media and mobile devices are currently driving large changes in the digital space.

“For new, growing businesses understanding and integrating multi-channel strategies to talk to and engage with customers across online and directly will be as important as just being good with a website.”

Polly Purvis continued:

“While Scotland struggles to establish a greater online presence, the rest of the UK continues to move on apace. Blending mobile applications and social media with your online presence are becoming increasingly important. Scottish businesses need to get back in the game by keeping up with technology and getting closer to their customers.”


Notes to editors:

(1) Analysis published from IMRG (UK trade association for online retailers) and payment processing company Retail Decisions (ReD)

(2) eSociety report produced by the ONS

(3) Experian report on UK top e-traders

(4) ONS eCommerce and ICT activity statistical bulletin

For further information please contact:

Lesley Ferguson, Perceptive Partners on 07762 769 659 or Julie Moulsdale, Perceptive Partners on 07734 932 578

Polly Purvis, ScotlandIS on 01506 472200.

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Perceptive Partners Communications. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Lesley Ferguson
Phone: 07762 769 659