South East leads e-commerce field
London and the South East are blazing the trail for e-commerce firms, with 64% of online businesses based in these regions.
Research carried out by independent law firm, Berg, on their E-commerce Power 50 list found that 32 of the fastest-growing companies are either in the capital or the South East.
This leaves e-commerce in the North with challenges to live up to. Just 12% of the fastest 50 are in the North, while Wales has one of the top online businesses in Berg’s list, and the North East and Scotland do not feature in the list.
The Midlands and the North West each contribute four of the fastest expanding e-commerce companies each.
These findings indicate a North-South divide when it comes to online business, with “tech savvy” companies being attracted South.
Tim Leigh from Berg’s E-commerce and Technology team, said: “We know that London has the upper hand when it comes to e-commerce and technology businesses but this research highlights how other South East areas, such as Surrey, Hampshire and Kent, also attract these fast-growing companies. E-commerce businesses need first-class infrastructure, particularly high-speed broadband, which is far easier to find in the South East.
“The beauty of e-commerce businesses is that they can be set up from a bedroom or small office, but high-speed broadband coverage is patchy and only certain locations have the super-fast internet connectivity for them to operate.
“We would like to see the Government and local authorities, along with private sector ISPs, prioritising the roll-out of high-speed broadband in smaller towns and cities so that the UK becomes a more even playing field for those setting up e-commerce businesses.”
Statistics show that regions outside the South East are falling behind the main players in this arena, although the North fares the worst as the South West claim six businesses on Berg’s E-commerce Power 50.