Businesses of all sizes from across the UK will have access to a new suite of services to help boost their international trade through online channels.
UKTI’s new e-Exporting Programme has been created to ensure UK companies are best placed to tap into the huge opportunities that exist online. The growth of technology has dramatically changed consumers’ purchasing habits with Britons now spending approximately £91 billion a year online making the UK one of the world’s leading e-commerce countries.
UKTI is working with a number of international e-marketplaces including Tmall China, Amazon China, Japanese e-commerce platform Rakuten and Harper’s Bazaar. Operating through these e-marketplaces presents a cost-effective way for companies – particularly small and medium-sized businesses – to increase their reach in terms of both numbers and geography. The programme encourages UK exporters to reach out to the generation of digitally-capable consumers who are increasingly influenced through online channels.
Trade Minister Lord Livingston said:
“The UK leads the world in cross-border online sales, but there is still much more we can do to help British business seize this huge opportunity with forecasts of 3 billion online consumers in just 3 years.
Trading online is a great way to start exporting to a new country, enhance distribution in an exciting market and effectively sell while you sleep. This is why we are launching the UKTI e-Exporting Programme to help businesses thrive abroad in some of the world’s largest markets.”
UK retailers including Mothercare, organic skincare brand Neal’s Yard Remedies, and fashion brands Emma Willis and Matthew Williamson have also endorsed UKTI’s efforts to support UK retailers and brands with their e-commerce strategy in order to boost exports. The programme is expected to help approximately 50,000 UK companies establish online trade channels.
The e-Exporting Programme is a continuation of the government’s commitment to get more UK businesses trading online and meet the UK trade ambition of £1 trillion by 2020. The programme follows UKTI’s ‘Grow Online, Expand Worldwide’ campaign that was launched late last year (2013) by Business Secretary Vince Cable.