Royal Mail – online retailers to export more in 2019

Coming off the back of a tough peak season in 2018, some 69% of SME online retailers are confident of an increase in sales in 2019 according to research from Royal Mail.

The Royal Mail research showed that the biggest perceived challenges for UK SMEs are economic instability in the UK, pricing goods competitively, attracting new customers and growing competition in the online space. Sixty-eight percent said they had an uplift in sales in 2018, though 73% expect higher costs in 2019.

Exporting may well help companies as domestic sales stagnate. Seventy percent of those online retailers surveyed export, mainly to the EU, USA and Asia. Sixty eight percent are planning to market their exports more, up from 64% last year. Key plans for increasing international sales revenue include: simplifying the sales/ordering/delivery and payment process (46 per cent), selling more to the markets they already sell to (31 per cent) and targeting new markets and countries (25 per cent).

Even with Brexit looming, Europe is still perceived to hold the greatest opportunity followed by the USA and Asia.

A spokesperson from Royal Mail said “Although obvious challenges exist in 2019, it’s promising to see the level of business confidence from UK SME online retailers. Retailers are focusing on the opportunities they have for growth and are looking at how to be successful both in the UK and abroad. At Royal Mail, we already support many retail businesses in delivering against these opportunities. We make exporting as simple as possible by giving UK SME online retailers the tools they need and we look forward to working with even more of these great businesses this year.”

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