Tuesday, October 30, 2012

eCommerce in Scotland

As friends and readers of this blog will know, I've now relocated my business and family to Scotland. I've therefore taken an obvious interest in the online retail scene north of the border.

The UK is now a world leader in the field of eCommerce and over the last few years has seen double-digit growth (despite the worst recession in living memory). Furthermore recent figures from the Boston Consulting Group have predicted that the UK’s Internet economy will continue to expand at around 11% per year for the next four year. This means it should reach £221bn by 2016, or a whopping 12.4% of the UK's GDP!

However it is clear that (except for a few notable exceptions) that Scotland does not have an eCommerce economy to fully match that of other parts of the UK. In fact, in a recent report by Scottish Enterprise it said that Scotland had the lowest proportion of any nation or region in terms of advertised IT jobs mentioning eCommerce..... just 2% compared to 11% in London and 10% in the East Midlands.

But ecommerce is a huge part of business today and is a growing industry within the Scottish economy in 2012.  It also contributes an estimated 200,000 jobs, worth £31 billion in sales (of which about £8 billion was actual sales using websites, compared to other online transactions such as direct B2B connections).

Clearly there is a lot of ground to make up. Or put another way, there's a huge eCommerce opportunity in Scotland for those companies who want to move into this market.
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