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Two-thirds of UK SMEs targeting global markets in 2015

In a display of confidence and ambition, two-thirds (65 per cent) of UK-based small and medium-sized online retailers plan to increase international sales during 2015.

That’s according to Royal Mail’s annual tracker survey, which found that 40 per cent of small business owners are primarily targeting the US market to generate revenue overseas.

The level of global ambition among UK SMEs has certainly soared in the last 12 months. Royal Mail’s survey in early 2014 recorded just over a third (39 per cent) of online retailers planning to target international sales.

With the US economy forecast to grow by 3.6 per cent in 2015 – significantly higher than the Eurozone which is expecting only 1.2 per cent growth – it’s little surprise that online retailers are exploring markets further afield.

Canada was ranked third by those surveyed as the most likely new global market for UK online businesses, followed by Russia which is a considerable surprise considering the crashing value of the ruble.

In terms of generating those new sales opportunities abroad, online retailers cited online search marketing activities and targeted direct mail or catalogues as the most successful methods.

More than half (56 per cent) of UK online retailers plan to invest in online search marketing enhancements, while 47 per cent are planning on adopting the direct mail approach in the next 12 months.

The increasing numbers of ambitious UK online retailers highlights Britain’s potential as a global business hub, with SMEs leading the charge to generate revenue on an international level and underpin the national economy.

Nick Landon, managing director, Royal Mail Parcels, said: “Royal Mail’s annual tracker study of UK small and mid-sized online retailers shows that there is growing confidence that they can grow international sales.”

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