How Amazon Marketplace is boosting export sales for UK SMEs

UK SME’s selling on Amazon are expected to grow their export sales by more than a quarter to over £1.8 billion.

UK-based businesses selling on Amazon Marketplace are expected to achieve export sales of more than £1.8 billion in 2016, up 29 per cent year-on-year, according to Amazon.

The announcement is being made at the first Amazon Academy in the UK, an event that provides hundreds of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with practical ideas and support to help them boost online sales and exports to customers around.

Amazon also reveals more than 60 per cent of the tens of thousands of UK SMEs selling on Amazon Marketplace are now exporting to customers around the world and the number of UK-based Marketplace sellers exporting to European customers increased by more than 40 per cent in the last year.

Hundreds of UK SMEs are participating in Amazon Black Friday deals in other countries, exporting products to Europe, Japan and North America, with 50 per cent of items sold on Amazon’s global sites coming from Marketplace sellers.

Independent research from Keystone Strategy finds that 74,000 people are employed by UK-based Marketplace sellers as a result of their business on Amazon.

Francois Saugier, vice president of EU seller services, thinks the days of only being able to sell products to customers in one town, region or country are long gone as ‘businesses of all sizes can easily export their products across Europe and the world.’

Doug Gurr, UK country manager of Amazon, says, ‘Our aim is provide the tools and services that make it as easy for small businesses to sell abroad as it is in their home country.

‘Every day, we are seeing more UK businesses expanding their horizons by offering their products on a European or global basis, opening themselves up to tens of millions of additional potential customers at the click of a button.’

New tools and services help increase SME exports

Amazon has created a suite of support tools to help businesses export their products, including supporting them by managing currency exchange, local translations and providing global delivery and distribution.

As a result, businesses of all sizes can sell globally across Amazon’s eleven websites in seven languages to reach hundreds of millions of customers.

The record 2016 export sales follow the April launch of Pan-European Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), a service where Amazon stores, picks, packs and delivers items to customers on behalf of Marketplace sellers, who in turn can sell across Europe while only paying the local fulfilment fee of the destination country.

FBA services also help sellers to grow their business by making their products eligible for Amazon Prime, meaning they will have access to millions of Amazon’s most loyal customers, along with Amazon’s trusted and acclaimed customer service.

In the UK, the number of businesses taking advantage of FBA has increased by more than 70 per cent in the last year. By being part of FBA, Marketplace sellers scale their business and boost sales abroad, while incurring lower costs than if they invested in their own warehousing and logistical solutions.

David Gutfreud, founder of The Light Factory, says, ‘We export more than 3,500 different products to customers around the world on Amazon Marketplace – one of our biggest sellers are therapy lamps which mimic natural sunlight to help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

‘We employ more than 80 full-time staff as we continue to grow our sales across Europe and beyond, achieving millions of pounds in export sales in the last year alone.’

Zamir Cajee, managing director of iQualTech, reports, ‘Over the last year we have significantly increased our export sales across Europe through Amazon Marketplace, with thousands of customers discovering our range of high-quality, affordable Bluetooth speakers.

‘We are looking to build on this success over the coming months by reaching new customers across the US and Japan, as well as tapping into crucial new markets such as India and China.’

Further reading on exporting as a small business

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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