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- Finds ecommerce in use by over a third of retailers but multi-channel retailing has plenty of room for growth-

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3D graphs from the survey are available from Dexterity

West Byfleet, Surrey - 26 January 2009 - New research on the state of the UK SME retail market, from multi-channel systems specialist Actinic, indicates that significant increases have been seen in the adoption of ecommerce since the last 2006 survey (published in January 2007). However operating across multiple channels where outlets are selling online and taking orders via the mail or phone is lagging behind with only a quarter of retailers in this category.

This seventh Actinic retail market survey was undertaken by pfa Research on a sample of 277 randomly-selected small and medium-sized retailers, of whom 96 had ecommerce web sites.

Key findings are that the number of retailers with ecommerce sites has risen to over 35%, from 11% in 2006 - confirming trends reported by bodies such as the IMRG. Of those that don’t have an ecommerce site 22% claim they have firm plans to launch one.

A quarter (26%) of businesses questioned operate across three channels (the high street, ecommerce and mail or telephone orders (MOTO)). A third (34%) of all businesses sampled have electronic point of sale (EPOS) in-store. Of the remainder 13% state they have firm plans to implement a system.

Chris Barling, CEO of Actinic comments, “Times are tough for retailers so I’m sure that the take up of ecommerce will be significant in 2009 as it is the only channel where profits and growth are still on the up. However the use of integrated software applications across multiple channels is still limited to a minority of retailers, so there is a clear market here.”

The full report is available free from
http://downloads.actinic.com/docs/Actinic-SME-Retail-Technol... or by email from jane.lee at dexterity.co.uk

Additional highlights from the 2008 Actinic Survey:

• Taking orders via post or telephone (MOTO) has increased from 39% (in 2006 report) to 74%.
• 10% of businesses are now selling via a major marketplace, with eBay and Amazon being the most popular.
• 6% of businesses operate across four channels including ecommerce, retail, MOTO and via a marketplace.
• 66% of businesses state that their ecommerce websites are profitable.
• 26% of online retailers have lost money as a result of online fraud.
• 60% built their own web site (against 45% in 2006) and the same proportion have implemented their own EPOS system.
• 70% created a bespoke site and 58% opted for a customised EPOS system.

For further comment contact:
Chris Barling, Actinic. 0845 129 4800, cbarling@actinic.co.uk

Actinic PR: Jane Lee, Dexterity. Tel +44 (0)1273 470199, jane.lee at dexterity.co.uk

About Actinic:

Founded in 1996, Actinic is a British company specialising in helping small and medium retailers trade, both online and offline, using its ecommerce and electronic point of sale (EPOS) packages.

Actinic offers ecommerce products for web designers and self-builders, including both web-based and desktop solutions. The range includes Actinic Enterprise, Actinic Business, Actinic Catalog, Actinic Express and Actinic Designer. 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. Some better known Actinic users include the Royal Opera House, the Scout Association, Vivienne Westwood and the Henley Royal Regatta.

Actinic EPOS systems give a comprehensive feature set that is straight forward to operate at great value prices. The range extends from a low cost, single till installation for the smaller store, to integrated multi-till and multi-site systems with head office functionality for centralised product, stock and price updating and reporting.

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Trademarks: Actinic, Actinic Catalog, Actinic Business and Actinic Designer are registered trademarks of Actinic Software Limited.

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