SMEs hoping to increase international sales this year
Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are hoping to increase international sales this year, a new study has revealed.
The research, which was carried out by Royal Mail, found that eight in ten (38 per cent) of SME retailers were selling their products both in-store and over the internet – with more than half (54 per cent) taking advantage of online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon in order to boost international sales.
The figures come shortly after data from Amazon revealed that SME retailers using its online shopping platforms enjoyed £2.5 billion in online sales last year.
Meanwhile, figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) suggest that exports were worth an impressive £29.6 billion to the UK economy in December alone.
A spokesperson on behalf of Royal Mail said that the e-commerce sector was becoming “increasingly globalised” and that SME retailers were beginning to recognise this and take advantage of it.
However, he suggested that many were still neglecting the importance of international trade, after Royal Mail’s study found that one in ten (11 per cent) of UK SMEs neither import nor export goods.
“SME online retailers especially should look at opportunities to expand the international side of their business,” he said.
“There are currently more than two billion internet users in 200 countries, with nearly 100 million of them in English speaking countries,” he said.
“It is a particularly good time for UK businesses to explore exporting options, given the current state of the pound.”