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UK businesses embrace online life during lockdown

(Image credit: Image Credit: Atm2003 / Shutterstock)

British businesses have been adjusting their work to take advantage of the possibilities offered by going online.

New research from domain registry Nominet found that a huge number of UK firms have pivoted online during the lockdown period in order to benefit from the flexiblity of ecommerce.

Nominet found that April 2020 saw record numbers of newly registered domains (147,706) - marking the first such increase in eight years, as well as a 12% (15,946) increase compared to registrations over the previous month.

Small businesses appeared to be the main actors, with daily registrations of domains that highlight they are “online”, “virtual” or “live” more than doubled over this period. Nominet also noted a 20% increase in registrations by individuals, suggesting an people were willing to take their hobbies and interests online.

Fashion (28%), exercise (23%) and food and drink (22%) related domains saw some of the biggest increases in website registrations. Elsewhere, website registrations of websites featuring traditional-business related terms (like ‘consultancy’ and ‘limited’) fell by 60% from February to March due to economic uncertainty, however these had returned to normal levels by the end of May. 

Nominet says it has also ensured that newly-registered domains are only being used for legitimate purposes, flagging 3,274 domains related to coronavirus for further investigation, seven of which were suspended due to criminal activity. 

“In the face of adversity, it has been really encouraging to see such an enterprising spirit when looking at trends in new domain registrations, despite so many unknowns," said Eleanor Bradley, MD Registry & Public Benefit at Nominet.

"The spikes we’ve seen across a variety of sectors is testament to people pivoting their businesses and interests to operate virtually during lockdown, and will have provided comfort to many business owners and their customers as well as helping support the economy."

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.