Having a good online PR strategy is essential for businesses who want to maximise their customer base, according to one expert.

David Smith, managing director at the Interactive Media in Retail Group, said companies not fully embracing the opportunities of e-commerce would be "left behind".

"They need to go where the customer is and convince [people] that the convenience and opportunities online are as rewarding as going into a store," he added.

He also described figures predicting growth of ten per cent a year in the e-commerce sector as "conservative" and pointed out that, with sections of the economy such as banking and government services among the areas moving towards online transactions, the total online economy "would be above that anyway".

A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group revealed the value of the UK's online economy stood at £100 billion in 2009 and accounted for 7.2 per cent of the country's gross domestic product – more then construction or transport.

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