Small online retailers look towards new markets

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Small British online retailers are looking towards new and uncharted markets, a Royal Mail annual tracker study has found. 56 per cent of retailers surveyed are aiming to increase international sales in both new and existing markets 2016.

According to the study, Australasia has seen the most significant increase in interest as an export location. The research found 23 per cent of small online retailers believe it ‘holds the greatest opportunity for export sales growth’, compared to five per cent last year.

But the USA is seen as the greatest opportunity for small retailers over the next five years by 30 per cent of SMEs interviewed.

26 per cent of small online retailers think Asia holds significant sales opportunities, up from 12 per cent last year.

The research also found that the lack of knowledge of international markets remains the central barrier to further export activity – holding back close to 40 per cent of small e-retailers. 35 per cent based their export plans on the ease of a location for shipping and delivering.

“Royal Mail’s annual tracker of small online retailers shows that there is a huge appetite for exporting among UK small businesses,” said Richard Snowdon, Royal Mail’s international director. “But it also shows that over a third could be missing out on sales by not actively promoting their international capabilities to encourage foreign custom.

“We believe that 2016 could be the year that exporting becomes big business for small online retailers in the UK and we have a range of international delivery options designed to make this process as simple as possible.”

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