online shopping e-commerce

Maltese businesses’ internet use continue to be among the highest in the European Union, with 97.4 per cent of enterprises with more than 10 employees using the internet in 2021.

New data released by the National Statistics Office, reflecting the results of a survey on ICT and ecommerce usage among businesses in 2021, shows that enterprises across all surveyed economic activities and size classes registered high levels of internet use.

Cloud computing has been continuously increasing in popularity, as local companies keep abreast of the latest technological developments to improve efficiency and cut costs. The results show that 57.1 per cent of enterprises made use of this on-demand service in 2021, as compared to 52.2 per cent the previous year.

A total of 65,610 employees used the internet for business purposes during 2021, with over half (34,555) also accessing the internet via a mobile device provided by their employer.

Over four out of every five businesses had their own website (82.3 per cent), four percentage points higher than the EU average.

Percentage of enterprises with a website (NSO 524/2022)

More than 85 per cent of enterprises operating in the accommodation and food service activities, transport and communication sectors or in the real estate, professional, administrative and other service activities sectors reported to have a website.

The most common features present in enterprises’ websites were the provision of descriptions and price lists of goods and services and links or references to the company’s social media profiles.

The national share of enterprises conducting sales through e-commerce is seven percentage points higher than the EU-27 average. The number of enterprises making sales through e-commerce increased by almost four percentage points over 2020 levels.

Percentage of enterprises conducting sales through e-commerce (NSO 524/2022)

In 2021, total turnover generated through e-commerce sales amounted to €2.1 billion – a 12.2 per cent decrease from the previous year. During 2021, 80.8 per cent of the total turnover generated via e-commerce web sales was effected via the enterprise’s own website or apps.

Turnover generated via e-commerce sales by platform in 2021 (NSO 524/2022)

Since the survey was conducted among businesses with 10 or more employees, this data might not reflect turnover on multi-enterprise platforms by small businesses and the self-employed.

In 2021, more than half of all enterprises had to change the way they operated due to the impact of COVID-19.

Larger enterprises were more likely to increase efforts to provide remote access to their employees. In fact, 81.3 per cent of enterprises employing 250 or more persons increased remote access to their own ICT systems. Additionally, among all enterprises, 76.1 per cent increased the number of online meetings.

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