Physical stores are still important, says Royal Mail

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A Royal Mail study has found that nearly 60 per cent of SME online retailers are planning to sell through additional channels in 2019 – and one of the most popular channels being looking for space in another physical store to sell goods.

41 per cent of said they were looking for physical space, followed by 39 per cent looking to list their products on additional marketplaces and 27 per cent looking to exhibitions or trade fairs.

The research also found that 47 per cent of UK SME online retailers both a physical store and an online presence. Likewise, for those selling in a physical store, 80 per cent say it is their own store while 33 per cent sell in another retailer’s store.

“Entrepreneurial UK SME online retailers are increasingly turning to online marketplaces to sell their products. The rise of online marketplaces is impacting the way consumers shop online and how retailers sell to their customers, but the physical store still has a role to play,” said a Royal Mail spokesperson.

“As the e-commerce sector becomes increasingly global, UK SME online retailers should look at opportunities to expand the international side of their business. At Royal Mail, we already support many retail businesses in their overseas expansion, and we look forward to working with even more of them in the future”.

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