Amazon has announced a new partnership with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) designed to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) increase their exports and grow their e-commerce sales. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed today at the GREAT Global Investment Conference 2015 in Central London.
“The global e-commerce market grew by more than 20% last year, underscoring the huge opportunity for businesses of all sizes to grow their businesses by increasing their sales online and expanding to new markets,” said Catherine Raines, chief executive officer of UKTI. “By working with industry partners such as Amazon, UKTI is helping to make sure British businesses set the pace both in terms of e-commerce and exports.”
UK SMEs currently trail behind the rest of Europe in terms of exports, according to research from UKTI. Of the five million companies in the UK, only one in five currently export – compared with one in four in France and one in three in Germany. Meanwhile, only one in five UK SMEs currently makes sales through digital channels according to the Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index 2015. The agreement signed between Amazon and UKTI will help to encourage and facilitate overseas trade for British businesses through new resources and dedicated programmes that show the simplicity of selling through Amazon’s global e-commerce platforms.
“The digital economy is expanding rapidly around the world and is creating exciting opportunities for British companies to grow by increasing their exports,” said Doug Gurr, VP, China country manager, Amazon. “At Amazon, we have worked hard to build systems to make it as easy for companies to sell abroad as it is for them to sell in their home market, and this new partnership with UK Trade & Investment will help UK businesses to expand their international sales and drive cross-border trade.”
Amazon has created a suite of capabilities that help UK companies to sell their products abroad, including helping to manage currency exchange, translation, regulatory complexity, tax and duty, marketing and global shipment and distribution. Amazon Marketplace offers an ever-increasing number of small and medium sized UK retailers with a shop window, with the potential to be viewed by 285 million customers around the world. In the last 12 months, British companies including Character.com, iQualTech and The Light Factory were amongst UK businesses who collectively exported more than £1 billion of products through Amazon Marketplace, with the number of UK businesses using the platform for exporting up by more than 90%.