Nearly 9 in 10 UK SMEs plan to sell online by end of 2018

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Nearly 9 in 10 UK SMEs expect to be selling online by the end of next year. What’s amazing about this number is that it’s compared to 64% of SMEs who say they sell online today. The data comes from the Q4 2017 SME Growth Tracker, a report by Capital Economics commissioned by Amazon UK and Enterprise Nation.

The significant increase in the number of SMEs planning to use ecommerce in the coming year is primarily driven by a surge in business owners planning to sell via their own company website (rising from 50% to 68%) and their own mobile apps (increasing from 13% to 245). More businesses also expect to sell via third party online retailers (rising from 21% to 27%).

SMEs who use ecommerce anticipate significantly faster revenue and jobs growth next year. Compared to SMEs that don’t use e-commerce, those who do are expecting more than triple the revenue growth (+1.9% compared to +0.6%) and double the jobs growth (+0.8% compared to +0.4%).

SME confidence remains a little shaky in the current political climate – no real surprise when no one knows what Brexit will bring. However, SMEs that sell on line are more positive about the outlook for the year ahead.

“Our thermometer of SME confidence remains below zero, with few owners and managers still seeing a lot of headwinds in the economy. But while the figures show confidence remains low among SMEs as a whole, e-commerce users are less pessimistic about business conditions over the next twelve months. This is perhaps due to their expected increase in revenue over the festive period from online sales. Given these results, it is no wonder that more SMEs expect to start using digital tools to sell goods and services in 2018.”
– Mark Pragnell, Chief Project Economist at Capital Economics

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