Internet sales by UK businesses rose to £163bn in 2007, figures published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

This is an increase of just over 30 percent on the 2006 figure of £125.2bn.

The results of the 2007 e-commerce survey, which was based on businesses with 10 or more employees, show large increases in the value of trade over the internet and some levelling off in growth in the use of some Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), such as computers, internet access and websites. Saturation is being reached by most business groups in these ICTs.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • Internet sales represented 7.7 percent of the total value of all sales by non-financial sector businesses in 2007.
  • Internet sales accounted for 39.3 percent of the value of sales over all ICTs in 2007, up from 35.7 pe cent in 2006.
  • 30.4 percent of the value of all purchases made by non-financial sector businesses were made over the internet or other ICTs in 2007.
  • 60.8 percent of businesses used the Internet to interact with public authorities, such as government departments and local and regional authorities in 2007, an increase of nearly 18 percent since 2006.
  • 70.3 percent of businesses had a website
  • There are significant differences in the rate of adoption of newer ICTs between the largest and smallest businesses. Supply chain management systems were used by 33.4 percent of businesses with 1,000 or more employees in 2007, compared with only 4.2 percent of businesses with 10 to 49 employees.
  • While the largest businesses have led the way with the adoption of ICTs, the smallest businesses have closed the gap with the use of more established ICTs such as Internet access and websites.