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~ 72% of retailer's sites are profitable in 2004 ~

A pdf of the full report is available on request from

16 August 2004 ~ In its fourth independent annual survey of the ecommerce market for small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK, ecommerce software vendor Actinic focuses on the retail sector. Based on interviews with 539 retailers, the report highlights the significant rise in the profitability of retail web stores from 53% in 2003 to 72% this year. It also shows that ecommerce adoption has risen to 42% among companies that already have a web site, but that overall, only 3% of all retailers have an online sales channel. The continued growth in online shopping means there's a real risk of consumer choice being limited because of vendors' resistance to ecommerce adoption. A copy of the full report is available free from, or by email from

Chris Barling, CEO of Actinic says, "Surveys over the last year have consistently found that online spending is growing rapidly, but that's only one side of the coin. Just as importantly, our results show that ecommerce profitability is growing too -- the low overheads compared to a high street outlet make selling online especially attractive to startups and micro-businesses. But what I find disappointing is that the vast majority of retail businesses are not taking advantage of this goldenopportunity to increase their sales, profits and customer base."

2004 Report Highlights
1 - There's been a significant rise in the percentage of retail ecommerce sites that are profitable - from 53% in 2003 to 72% in 2004.

2 - Ecommerce adoption has risen among companies that already have a web site, from 27% in 2003 to 42% in 2004. But overall, only 3% of the companies questioned enable orders to be placed on the web site.
- The continuing low rate of ecommerce adoption among retailers, coupled with continued growth in online shopping, indicates a real risk of supplier shortage on the web with consumer choice being limited because of vendor resistance to ecommerce adoption.

- With demand currently growing much faster than supply, the business opportunity for retailers is greater now than during the boom. Relatively few are cashing in but those that do are seeing their profits rise.

3 - Ecommerce is most popular among entrepreneurs and small businesses.
40% of ecommerce businesses are online-only startups.
75% of ecommerce sites are run by companies with 10 employees or less.

4 - Among companies that have not adopted ecommerce, fewer than last year blamed lack of interest from customers, and more blamed lack of resources.

The research was conducted independently by pfa Research, who interviewed 455 retail companies with up to 250 employees, selected at random from an independent database. In addition, Actinic used the same questionnaire on 84 customers who purchased direct.

For further comment, contact:
Chris Barling, CEO of Actinic. Tel 01932 871000,
Actinic 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, and power 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, Robert Dyas, the Royal Navy and Help the Aged. Visit

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

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