Internet first choice for British SME ordering, almost

Ordering via the Web is more popular than ever, but research shows British SMEs may not be in tune with their suppliers when it comes to ordering priorities.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

British SMEs are making almost as many IT equipment orders over the Internet as they are by phone, new research reveals.

Statistics compiled by IDC Research for Google show that, in the last year, 87 percent of U.K. SMEs chose the telephone as a means for ordering, with 83 percent using the Web. What may surprise some is that 51 percent still order equipment by fax.

Sarah Speake, Google U.K.'s industry leader for the technology sector, said on Thursday that the figures demonstrated a "real sea change where the level of orders being placed for businesses via the Internet now almost equals those by phone".

The IDC findings also showed a marked discrepancy between the purchasing priorities of SMEs, and their priorities as perceived by their suppliers' chief marketing officers. While the SMEs tended to have cost as their first priority (38 percent) with quality, reliability and design second (36 percent), the chief marketing officers thought SMEs were primarily interested in quality, reliability and design (nearly 100 percent), with cost sixth on the list at around 30 percent.

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