Recent statistics released this week by the Boston Consulting Group reveal that 8.3% of the UK’s economy is dependent upon the internet, which is actually a significantly bigger proportion than any other of the G20 countries. Online business has grown massively, as has our increasing reliance on it, and in 2010 the online economy for the UK was worth approximately £121 billion.

Would you give up alcohol for your internet connection?

I know I tend to purchase more and more of my stuff online, and it’s not just CD’s and books these days. From groceries to insurance, around 13.5% of all purchases made in the UK in 2010 were completed online. The BCG predicts that by 2016 this is likely to rise to about 23%, expanding around 11% per year so that in four years time the UK’s online economy will be worth a staggering £221.

What is interesting about these figures is that not only are we outperforming the rest of the world, with China’s online growth sitting at around 6.9% and the US at just 5.4%, but that this is all excellent news for small and medium sized businesses.

With more and more of us looking to buy almost everything online, and with almost a quarter of all retail purchases likely to be carried out online within a short period there really has never been a better or more exciting time for online marketers to see sustained growth. Focus on quality, know your market and target your online marketing effectively and there really is no reason why the next few years can’t be even better than the last few.

Oh, and incidentally, that same survey revealed that 65% of us in the UK would rather give up alcohol than our internet connection, and 25% of people would even give up sex!

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