UK craft and design SMEs look to marketplaces for growth

Craft and design SMEs in the UK expect to grow their businesses through online marketplaces according to new research from Royal Mail.

In a statement, Royal Mail said: “To grow sales, UK SME craft and design retailers intend to list their products on more marketplace sites (41%), look for space in another physical store (26%) and use social media (22%). Over half (52%) are also planning to increase their marketing spend and 34% intend to take advantage of the increased interest in UK exports.”

Most (72%) of SME craft and design companies sell their wares via their own websites. Sixty-nine per cent sell online via a marketplace and 41% through social media. 80% of those businesses said to the researchers that online marketplaces helped increase sales.Many of these companies see marketplaces as a way to gain access to export markets too.

Forty-nine per cent of craft and design SMEs export their goods, while 50% import goods for retail. 57% of those export – 74% to the EU, 45% to the USA and 35% to Asia. The majority of these retailers are planning to increase international sales revenue in the next year.

A spokesperson for Royal Mail Parcels commented: “The craft and design sector is booming in the UK and it’s promising to see the level of confidence from SMEs in this space. At Royal Mail, we support many retailers across a variety of sectors and we’re also helping to make exporting simpler through our easy to use Click & Drop system. We look forward to supporting more craft and design retailers in the future.”