eBay – SMEs optimistic about economy

eBay has published some research on the prospects for online businesses in the coming year. Where 49% were described as ‘bullish’ about the year ahead, only 22% were described as pessimistic about the economy.

Research covered by Apex Insight yesterday of Royal Mail’s ongoing study found similar results, and both large scale studies go to show that those in e-commerce have an upbeat view of the year ahead.

eBay’s research suggested that 13% of small businesses expected to be taking on new staff in the coming year. 13% of small businesses also expected to be breaking new markets abroad in the coming year as well. 40% of eBay’s respondents expected to be expanding their offerings in the next year as well.

Though there are some signs of a certain shakiness of the economy as a whole, e-commerce businesses are riding a wave where they are getting business from faltering high street companies in a sector that may experience growth even as other areas of retail falter and fail. Delivery companies around the UK are investing heavily in capacity and infrastructure, making room for projections of a new face of retail that will be predominantly online in the coming years.

eBay’s Director of Professional Selling, Kit Glover said of the findings, “The business community should be very encouraged by the findings of our Small Business Optimism Index. Despite a tough retail environment, the fact that digital small businesses are looking to expand their product offerings, export to more foreign markets and thus employ more people here in the UK can only be a good thing.”

The coming six months should show whether a wavering economy as a whole moves forward but for those in e-commerce, many of them should see growth even as high street rivals feel the pain of competition from e-commerce companies.