UK SMEs Turn To Online Trade For Growth

British Businesses Increasingly Confident In International Sales


Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

Online retailers in the UK are confident that they can grow their sales in international markets, a new study by Royal Mail has discovered.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of UK SMEs engaged in internet sales are looking to increase their output in 2015 – nearly double the figure that aimed for the same target in 2014 (39%).

The postal giant's annual tracker study found that online retailers are positive about the year ahead; seven in ten businesses expected sales to increase, even though three-quarters of them (76%) also said competition is now more intense than it was a year ago.

To support plans for growth, the vast majority of British SMEs operating online – 84% – plan to expand their reach customers in new countries they do not already sell to.

Responding to international economic developments, the US has also overtaken Europe to become the primary target for online retailers looking to trade in new international markets. The Royal Mail highlighted that the US economy is forecast to grow by 3.6% in 2015, compared to 1.2% in the Eurozone, making the pound more competitive across the Atlantic.

Expert Opinion
This is encouraging and is a clear sign that SMEs have a big role to play in building up the UK’s export market and ensuring that our economy becomes more balanced.

“Competition is becoming greater but what this survey shows is that businesses are adapting to this and still looking to expand.

“The Government has set challenging targets for new exporters but it is vital that it helps remove some of the barriers that exist for small companies looking to build international sales networks. Many small businesses find locating new markets and customers for the first time very challenging and it is vital that they receive guidance in this area.”
Steven Beahan, Partner