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15 May 2002 (A0203) ~ Today Actinic, the leading ecommerce software
supplier, announces the results of its second annual report on the status
of the UK ecommerce market amongst small and medium enterprises
(SMEs). The key highlights show that ecommerce is still gaining acceptance
as an effective sales medium amongst SMEs; that there has been a
significant leap in profitable sites; and that the importance of the
internet to business is still increasing. A PDF copy of the report is
available at

The 2002 survey collected responses from 250 independently selected
organisations with 1 - 249 employees, all of whom had a live web site. Its
aims were to establish the adoption and intention to adopt online trading
amongst UK SMEs, and to monitor the experiences, expectations and
perceptions towards ecommerce.

Summary of Key Messages

· Ecommerce still gaining ground amongst UK SMEs

The adoption of ecommerce amongst SMEs remains static at 26% of the sample
in 2002, versus 25% in 2001. A further 11% of SMEs (who have not yet
implemented ecommerce) have firm plans to develop an online sales facility
during the next twelve months. Phil Rothwell, business development director
at Actinic comments, "This highlights that whilst many ecommerce sites have
ceased trading over the last year, new ecommerce sites are still being
set-up at a similar rate and many new sites are currently being
planned. Confidence is still out there."

· Ecommerce profitability increases and fuels further development and upgrades

An impressive 72% of ecommerce sites claimed profitability during 2002,
over 59% in 2001. In addition 61% of respondents plan further development
to their ecommerce site. "Again, we see this as a reflection of an
increasing confidence amongst site owners for further investment," says

· The importance of the internet to business is still increasing

Another finding that emerged is that respondents currently consider
ecommerce to be the most important business use of the internet and they
also believe that this is set to become even stronger in the future. For
those businesses with no plans for ecommerce a key reason given was the
lack of customer demand, suggesting that it is still the consumer who is
driving companies onto the net. According to Rothwell, "Businesses are
doing the right thing in listening to their customers, but they haven’t
grasped the potential benefits to themselves in terms of cost savings and
increased efficiency."


Bruce Townsend, Actinic. Tel 01932 871021,

PR: Jane Lee, Dexterity. Tel 01273 470199,

About Actinic:

Founded in1996 and listed on the London Stock Exchange, Actinic plc
specialises in developing PC-based ecommerce software for small and medium
enterprises (SMEs) that want to sell online. Actinic is a key partner in
the DTI's UK online for business programme.

Used on thousands of live sites in 40 countries, some of Actinic's better
known UK users include London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Opera House,
Lloyds of London, Focus Do-it-All, Robert Dyas, Bill Wyman, Royal Navy,
Help the Aged, Letts Diaries, Royal National Institute for Deaf People,
Sunningdale and Royal St David Golf Clubs, Devon and Moray County Councils.

Products are headed by Actinic Developer, a development tool with
Dreamweaver interface for commercial web designers who deploy ecommerce
solutions for SMEs. Actinic Catalog is a complete business-to-consumer
ecommerce solution with catalogue, shopping cart, ordering, payment,
security and order processing. Actinic Business is a more sophisticated
application for integrating ecommerce and back-end systems and is suitable
for B2B and/or B2C sales. Actinic Link (with Business) enables integration
with the popular accounts applications Sage Line 50, QuickBooks and
Exchequer Enterprise.


This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Dexterity in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit