Aim of this survey

The E-commerce Survey aims to measure the usage of information and communication technology (ICT) by businesses and the value of business conducted electronically (whether buying or selling). The survey also enables analysis of the impact of e-commerce and the use of technology on businesses.

Eurostat is the principal user of the statistics. The UK provides statistics to Eurostat measuring business use of ICT and e-commerce activity, in accordance with Regulation of the European Parliament and Council 808/2004. These estimates are used to provide information that is consistent with other European Union (EU) member states, as part of progress towards measuring EU benchmarking indicators. These EU indicators compare the development and use of ICT in the EU member states and help to provide a better understanding of the adoption of ICT and the internet by businesses at an EU level.

The information is also used by UK government departments and a range of ad hoc users.

What you need to know

To complete the survey, you will need the following information:

  • the use of ICT in your business

  • access and use of the internet

  • web or electronic data interchange (EDI) sales

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

Survey information

Selection criteria: UK trading businesses registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) and/or Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
Population: approximately 2.1 million
Sample: approximately 11,000
Frequency: annual

Dispatch dates

Between 1 and 4 January

Return-by date

Between 5 and 8 February

Dispatch and return-by dates are a guide. They are subject to change due to national holidays and weekends.

Why you were selected

Your business has been selected from a directory of businesses in the UK that are registered for VAT and/or PAYE or with Companies House. Your response ensures we represent your industry.

The E-commerce Survey is conducted under the provisions of the Statistics of Trade Act 1947. Once selected, your business is legally obliged to comply. You cannot appeal your selection.

Why you have received this survey

We survey businesses of all sizes to ensure our statistics are representative of the UK economy. We select large businesses (those with 100 plus employees) for any relevant ONS business surveys because their information is so significant.

We select some small and medium businesses, usually for a set period of time, then replace them with other businesses from their industry. They are very important to us as their trading patterns are often very different to large businesses.

How to complete this survey

Please complete and return the questionnaire following the guidelines on the front page.

Reminders are issued automatically, so you may receive one if you submit data just before or after the return date.

At the moment, this survey is not available to complete online. We are currently developing a secure online collection platform. You will receive a letter notifying you when you can complete the E-commerce Survey on our new platform. We appreciate your patience.

If you need help

You can call us on +44 (0)300 1234 912. Please contact us on +44 (0)300 1234 921 if you would like to speak to someone in Welsh.

Er mwyn gwneud cais am ffurflen Gymraeg (To request a questionnaire in Welsh): +44 (0)300 1234 921.

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