A new survey has shown that more small businesses are trading online, showing how valuable the internet is becoming to improving the prospects of the country’s SMEs. From the 2,200 companies interviewed, a 42% increase in those selling products online. There was also a 36% increase in businesses exporting their products overseas via their ecommerce sites.
This is especially significant as exporting has been hailed by the government as a way for small businesses to boost their growth in the face of tough domestic markets. The internet has also been helping start up ventures – there was a 32% increase in start ups who trade exclusively online. This shows how the internet is opening up new doors for trading for even the smallest businesses, levelling the playing field.
These figures come a year after the launch of a government scheme to encourage small businesses to export more overseas. With the high street being affected so heavily by online sales – see HMV and Comet as the prime examples – trading via the internet is becoming all important to a huge number of business sectors and is in parts starting to become the consumers’ first choice.
This survey revealed that more businesses were trading online as it was cheaper due to lower overheads, and nearly 20% said it was easier to sell their products online. However, traditional sales remain the dominant money maker, with 39% saying they make 50% or more of their sales online.
Investing in ecommerce is one way for a small business to expand its reach into the market, and even to start trading internationally. If you need to boost growth and ensure you’re making the most of the sales opportunities available to you, then trading online could be a step in the right direction.