LONDON: Amazon has signed an MoU with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to help SMEs increase their exports and grow their e-commerce sales.
UK SMEs currently trail behind the rest of Europe in terms of exports, according to research from UKTI. Of the five million companies in the UK, only one in five currently export – compared with one in four in France and one in three in Germany. Meanwhile, only one in five UK SMEs currently make sales through digital channels according to the Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index 2015.
"The global e-commerce market grew by more than 20 percent last year, underscoring the huge opportunity for businesses of all sizes to grow their businesses by increasing their sales online and expanding to new markets," said Catherine Raines, CEO of UKTI. "By working with industry partners such as Amazon, UKTI is helping to make sure British businesses set the pace both in terms of e-commerce and exports."
Amazon has created a suite of capabilities for UK SMEs including currency exchange, translation, regulatory complexity, tax and duty, marketing and global shipment and distribution. The company said its Amazon Marketplace offers SMEs a shop window with a potential audience of 285 million customers worldwide. I
In the last 12 months, British companies including Character.com, iQualTech and The Light Factory were amongst UK businesses who collectively exported more than £1 billion of products through Amazon Marketplace, with the number of UK businesses using the platform for exporting up by more than 90 percent said the company.
"The digital economy is expanding rapidly around the world and is creating exciting opportunities for British companies to grow by increasing their exports," said Doug Gurr, VP, China Country manager, Amazon. "This new partnership with UK Trade & Investment will help UK businesses to expand their international sales and drive cross-border trade."
David Gutfreund, founder of The Light Factory commented: "Five years ago, we employed a handful of staff in a borrowed warehouse in Salford. Now our own lighting brand Minisun is exporting light fittings and light bulbs to over 25 countries. Export revenue is growing at 40 percent each quarter and at the heart of our export drive is a partnership with Amazon."