Digital opportunities for SMEsSo how can small businesses, or those in rural areas without links to cities or the top tech talent, possibly compete with the bigger players out there? ?As long as the broadband and fibre reaches homes in rural areas, Amazon can come in and create economic activity,? said Jones. ?If you look at, say, the Scottish geographic landscape ? the highlands and islands such as the Isle of Skye ? this is just an incredible opportunity for people who live in these amazingly beautiful areas, but may have felt previously that they?ve been cut off from running their own business. Amazon Marketplace and other services open up that opportunity.? The Amazon Academy will feature tips and advice for startups looking to enter the world of ecommerce using its Marketplace service. The SME Growth Tracker, a poll of SMEs commissioned by Amazon UK and Enterprise Nation, found that around 45 per cent of all SMEs owners use ecommerce, and of those that do, they expect around 48 per cent of all revenues to be through ecommerce channels in the coming year. This perhaps gives some insight into the sizeable opportunity out there for small businesses that are ready to go digital. The SME Growth Tracker also found those companies who export to customers around the world through ecommerce are forecasting the strongest growth in the coming year.
The world is your oysterIf you are considering expanding your business offering overseas, there?s no better time ? having loyal customers overseas can help bolster small businesses against Brexit uncertainty. Using Amazon Marketplace is a fantastic way to market your products and build your brand online to worldwide audiences, and you might be surprised how much the ?Made in Britain? or ?Made in Scotland? brand carries weight overseas. ?If you look at products that historically have been known as Scottish, take whisky for instance, that sells incredibly well in international markets,? said Jones.
The tip of the icebergGetting your products online and offering ecommerce, or even exporting your goods or services, is really just the tip of the iceberg. The Amazon Academy in Edinburgh will seek to explore the ways owners can utilise their company’s?tools and services to grow their business, including Amazon Marketplace, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and even Alexa. In addition, the event will include business support services from its partners, Enterprise Nation, Scottish Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Spark ? no matter what stage your business is at, there will be something new to learn. There are so many ways to take a company digital and reap the benefits ? whether that?s marketing, selling, digital assistants, the opportunities are endless. What?s more, it is increasingly becoming the norm ? yet without the digital skills to back it up small businesses risk getting left behind.
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