Skip navigation
Skip navigation
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser.

Web Designer Survey Reveals Room for Growth in UK Ecommerce Market
Actinic's report shows three times more web sites are new

24 September 2003 - A report from best-selling ecommerce application supplier Actinic Software, indicates that UK web designers are growing more influential in the ecommerce market for small to medium-size businesses, at the expense of traditional IT resellers.

A copy of the full report is available free from or by email from

"Overall the research paints a picture of an ecommerce market that is slowly maturing, but which is not yet through its growth pains," says Chris Barling, Actinic's chief executive officer. "A sure sign of this immaturity is that bespoke ecommerce sites are still in the majority. However, designers do recognise that ultimately packages will be the norm for creating online stores as the time savings in development and ease of maintenance for the client are significant.

He adds, "The current stage of the market means there are great opportunities for design agencies given that three times as many new sites are being commissioned as opposed to redesigns of existing ones."

Summary of the findings

Actinic's report reveals that 26% of end users wanting advice on ecommerce would go to a web designer as their first source. This is over 10% higher than in 2001, and compares with only 16% who would go first to an IT reseller, consultant or VAR. The other most likely source of help is a friend or colleague, also at 26%.

The average price charged by web designers for developing an online store was £3825. Roughly a third of stores (32%) cost £1000 or less.

The survey gives a number of indicators that the web design market is still immature, and likely to undergo further significant changes - so there are still opportunities for businesses that can respond creatively and flexibly to market movement.

* 71% of web design projects still involve the building of completely new sites.

* Companies with 50-99 employees are currently the most active in employing the services of a web designer. Those with less than 10 employees (comprising 95% of all businesses) are 100 times less likely to have a professionally designed ecommerce site.

* The majority of ecommerce sites are still completely custom built - whereas in a mature software market packages typically dominate. Nevertheless, 42% of professionally installed ecommerce facilities now use a software package; and 55% of web designers agree that packages will eventually dominate. The packaged ecommerce solution most widely recognised and most widely used by web designers was Actinic, with 63% brand recognition and 37% usage among web designers.

The report is based on an independent survey by pfa Research among a random sample of 70 web design companies.

For further comment, contact:

Chris Barling, Actinic Software. Tel: 0845 129 4800,
Actinic's PR: Jane Lee, Dexterity. Tel 01273 470199,

About Actinic Software Ltd
Founded in 1996, Actinic specialises in developing PC-based ecommerce software for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that want to sell online. Its products include Actinic Developer, Actinic Business, Actinic Catalog and Actinic Audio Store. Actinic is a key partner in the DTI's UK online for business programme.

Actinic powers more UK ecommerce sites than any other company. Research shows that over 50% of SMEs using packaged software to run their e-stores use Actinic. Search for 'acatalog' on Google to see the vast range of online stores that run using Actinic. Some of Actinic's better known UK users include the Royal Opera House, Lloyds of London, Focus Do-it-All, Robert Dyas, the Royal Navy and Help the Aged. Visit

Trademarks: Actinic Catalog is a registered trademark of Actinic Software Limited.

Specialist in IT Press Relations
4 Church Row, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2PU, England
T +44 (0)1273 470199; F +44 (0)870 131 3334

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