International expansion on the agenda for small companies 

More UK e-tailers than ever before are considering international expansion as a key factor in their growth strategies, research finds.

Latest figures from e-commerce experts Space 48 reveal that 25 per cent of its customers are now planning a move abroad, compared to 20 per cent in 2013. In addition, 70 per cent of the firm’s new business prospects now cite global growth in their expansion plans.

Experts are predicting that, while a lack of adequate online presence has led to brands traditionally struggling with international expansion, the spike in e-commerce websites now launching globally will provide UK businesses with never seen before opportunities.

Santander’s recent business growth survey revealed the number of business owners looking to other countries to grow their business has doubled since 2013, with 6 per cent of UK-based SMEs seeking the financial rewards that come with overseas trade.

Last year, Space 48 worked with luxury UK make-up brand Charlotte Tilbury to launch its US e-commerce site, a project which led to the brand surpassing the predicted sales in the first six months alone. The business has also recently launched an e-commerce function in Germany for UK bathroom specialists Better Bathrooms.

Jon Woodall, managing director at Space 48, says that expanding into different countries is a great way to grow a business and can reap incredible financial rewards if executed correctly.

‘Exporting is a key factor to the UK’s economic success and with all the emphasis on UKTI, the government and other leading bodies are putting on the issue currently, it’s something we’re only set to see become more prominent,’ he says.

‘However, launching an international website comes with its obstacles and a ‘one size fits all’ strategy when looking to enter multiple overseas markets simply isn’t feasible. Different regulations, customs, payment gateways and language barriers are just some of the complications which may have prevented companies from taking the leap in the past.’

Further reading on international trade

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

Related Topics

Overseas expansion

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