This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Festive bonanza for online Scots businesses - Alexander
Scottish businesses are set for a prosperous New Year thanks to online trading.
A growing number of Scots businesses are realising the potential of this market by going on-line but there are still too many who think e-commerce is irrelevant to them and are missing out, Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, Wendy Alexander said today.
Ms Alexander was in Glasgow to highlight the success Scottish businesses are having on-line this festive season. One company, 800 Hampers Ltd expected a 300 per cent increase in sales this year.
Ms Alexander said:
"For the customer, the benefits are clear. At this time of year particularly, high street shopping can be very time-consuming and often frustrating. Trailing around shops can be an exhausting experience, which is why increasing numbers of people are turning to shopping on the web.
"An estimated £200 million was made in Scotland last year from on-line shopping. GDP expenditure on e-commerce grew 350 per cent in the UK last year compared to 70 per cent in the United States.
"E-commerce is, of course, about much more than Christmas shopping, MediaCorp Ltd, based in Hamilton, offers training materials for IT staff and trainers. They established a website 4 years ago and after they incorporated facilities for selling their products online a year ago, they experienced a surge in sales from throughout the world.
"E-commerce is the future for Scottish business. There is a huge world-wide market to be tapped into but other countries are going on-line at a quicker rate to Scotland. We must realise the benefits of new technology before it leaves us behind. E-commerce destroys peripherality and lets businesses, wherever they are located sell their goods across the world. I am encouraged by the success of the companies I have met today and wish them every success for the future."
John Alexander, Managing Director, of Shop Electrical Ltd, said:
"Electrical goods, our product, are not exciting but they are something that everyone can relate to. The secret of e-commerce success is not linked to how novel the idea is, it is how you do business. We offer discounted prices, same day delivery in Central Scotland and next day UK-wide. Our site was specifically designed to make the process to purchase simple with no distractions or gimmicks.
Geographical barriers, which have traditionally put many businesses in rural Scotland at a disadvantage, can be overcome by e-commerce. 800 Hampers Ltd, which sells hampers of traditional Scottish foods for special occasions, has experienced huge increases in sales since it began trading online in October 1998 from its first base in Ballachulish and now Dunoon.
Douglas Locke, Managing Director, said, "Hamper orders this Christmas have been outstanding. We expected a 300 per cent increase in sales this year compared to the 743 per cent increase last Christmas on the previous Christmas. However, we have increased sales by around 700 per cent on the previous year."
News Release: SE3324/2000
28 Dec 2000