Majority of Online Retailers Plan to Increase Overseas Sales

Number of firms planning global expansion has increased two thirds compared to last year

Two thirds (65%) of small and mid-sized sized online retailers plan to increase overseas sales with 84% preparing to enter new markets, according to the Royal Mail’s annual tracker study.

The number of small and mid-sized firms planning overseas expansion has increased considerably since last year, when only 39% sought to increase exporting activity.

In general small online retailers are forecasting a strong year with optimism for growth up by 9% and seven out of 10 businesses expecting overall sales to increase.

In regards to what markets small and mid-sized e-commerce businesses plan to target, the US came out top of the list with 39% of firms confirming it was their main focus; this was followed by European countries at 30%. Canada came in third before Russia at 15%.

According to 76% of small online retailers competition, alongside growth, was also increasing. In order to stay ahead of competitors and to increase exporting activity, 56% of retailers are planning to invest in online search data and 47% in targeted mail and catalogues.

Managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, Nick Landon, commented on the report:

“There is a marked increase in the percentage of UK small and medium sized online retailers aiming to grow international sales in 2015, compared with 2014.

“The study found that UK small and medium online retailers believe there is strong potential in the USA, which has overtaken Europe as the top target for businesses looking for new international markets.”

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