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UK small businesses are missing out on marketing opportunities this Christmas with a lack of investment in social media. Recent data shows that £13.4 billion is spent online in the period leading up to Christmas, in the UK alone. According to a study carried out by Epson, almost one third of UK businesses display a cautious attitude towards e-commerce. With 72 percent of Europeans viewing e-commerce as a huge business opportunity, only 59 percent of UK small businesses have the same opinion.

From January to March 2012, the government are providing opportunities for over 3,500 businesses to benefit from free e-commerce schemes to develop knowledge of the web. Phil McCabe, senior policy adviser at the Forum of Private Business said:

“Perhaps it’s a question of something that’s new and changing the media landscape, which in certain circles brings a degree of fear.”

McCabe added that the right tools and knowledge to implement social media and e-commerce correctly could be useful for business marketing. Sara Murray, founder of Confused.com said:

“It is concerning that so many still regard the area as a threat. In the midst of this busy shopping period, understanding how to harness social media, combined with the increasing popularity of e-commerce, should offer micro businesses an avenue for growth which they can’t afford to ignore.”

Chris Price, the managing director of Epson UK agreed that UK small businesses needed to harness the power of e-commerce and social media to encourage business growth.

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