Despite early challenges in 2020 from Brexit, the weather and Coronavirus, 62% of UK SME online retailers will be aiming to increase international sales revenues this year as international trade continues to be important for UK SMEs. Almost a fifth (18%) of UK SME retailers import goods; 16% export goods and 49% do both. This is according to a study commissioned by Royal Mail and that’s why it was no surprise to see almost 2,000 online retailers attend the Retail Without Borders global marketplace conference last week.
Having a physical, face-to-face presence with customers is also important to UK SMEs. Almost half (45%) of UK SME online retailers have a physical store as well as an online presence. For those that sell products in a physical store, 82% say it is their own store, but 27% sell in another shop owner’s store.
UK SMEs are looking at increasing sales in 2020. Just under half (46%) are planning to sell through new or additional channels in 2020. 72% of UK SME online retailers have their own website, with 59% of those who don’t planning on launching their own website in 2020.
“It’s promising to see that in the next year many smaller retailers in the UK are looking to build their international sales. The physical store still has a role to play and many SME retailers have a presence both online and in-store. Royal Mail supports many retail businesses in their overseas expansion and we look forward to working with even more of them in the future.”
– Shane O’Riordain, Managing Director of Marketing, Regulation And Corporate Affairs, Royal Mail