GS1 UK have partnered with the Department for International Trade (DIT) in support of their “Made in the UK, Sold to the World” export-promotion campaign.
Launched as part of the government’s export strategy, Made in the UK, Sold to the World supports the department’s ambition to inspire and encourage more UK SMEs to export for the first time or expand their existing international sales.
Made in the UK, Sold to the World aims to help British companies realise their export potential, ensuring they are aware of the benefits of selling overseas and the support that DIT offers.
The campaign showcases exporting SMEs from around the UK and directs people to great.gov.uk, DIT’s website, which contains a wide range of guidance and details of the department’s services.
With only one in ten UK businesses currently exporting, unlocking the UK’s exporting potential will help level up the country and could boost the economy by more than £3.5 billion say GS1 UK and the DIT.
GS1 UK will support the campaign by collaborating with DIT to showcase the successes and learnings of a cross section of GS1 UK members to inspire other SMEs to grow their business through exporting. The approach will include telling the stories of “exporting business champions,” hosting online events, sharing valuable insights from industry experts, providing practical supply chain advice, and explaining how to obtain much needed funding. Exporting is often seen as being complex, so the campaign aims to provide free, jargon-free advice to all who need it.
SMEs account for 87% of GS1 UK’s 58,000 members and their research has shown that these ambitious businesses recognise the exporting opportunity. They are keen to capitalise by selling British goods to customers overseas and 76% see it as critical in order to survive these challenging times. A staggering 60% believed they would export more, or the same amount, in the future so practical advice on how to get it right is crucial.
GS1 UK’s research also found that online platforms and social media have enabled SMEs to become ‘location agnostic’ with many now selling to increasingly diverse groups of customers across the globe. Of those already exporting 63% say they are selling more products to customers beyond the EU since Brexit, particularly to Asia (41%), North America (41%), Africa and the Middle East (35%).
As well as revealing the global ambitions of the UK’s SME community, GS1 UK found there is a clear demand for additional support. 60% want tools to streamline duties and customs, 50% would welcome advice from export professionals, and 69% have already taken professional advice to boost global sales and are hungry to discover more.
Partnering with DIT to support “Made in the UK, Sold to the World” is just one of many ways in which GS1 UK is supporting SMEs in achieving international business growth. By helping members identify, capture, and share accurate data about their products, GS1 UK plays a vital role in developing solutions for frictionless trading online and in store.
Many of those surveyed ranked logistical challenges as high amongst the exporting difficulties they face. 41% have experienced problems with slow or expensive shipping, 39% said paperwork and customs processes had caused headaches, 33% reported unexpected charges or duties and 31% want cheaper tracked options. This highlights the importance of quality data for ensuring efficient logistics, as well as building consumer trust in British products.
There is a high global demand for British goods and UK SMEs are ready and willing to export. It is evident that there is a huge untapped opportunity that is ready to be realised and could give the UK economy a much-needed boost. Our research has shown that greater awareness of the help on offer and just a little extra support from government and businesses in the supply chain will go a long way. We look forward to working closely with DIT and other partners to raise awareness of the opportunities on offer and build a collaborative support network for those SMEs wishing to export.– Sarah Atkins, CMO, GS1 UK
It is fantastic news that GS1 UK has partnered with DIT to support our ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ campaign, helping thousands of their SME members sell their products to the world, in turn growing our economy and supporting jobs.
Our 12-point export strategy and Export Support Service are supporting businesses to boost their exports and expand into international markets, creating exciting new opportunities around the world.– Andrew Griffith, Minister for Exports