Insurance · 1 February 2018

UK Amazon Marketplace sellers register record export sales of £2.3bn

Around six in ten Amazon Marketplace sellers are selling goods overseas

Small UK business owners trading on Amazon Marketplace made export sales of £2.3bn in 2017, new figures from the auction site have revealed.

According to research conducted by economists at Keystone Strategy, small firms selling goods on Amazon Marketplace have reached new audiences in North America, Japan, China and India alongside those across Europe.

Around six in ten Amazon Marketplace sellers export abroad, with digitally-aware entrepreneurs taking a growing share of revenue. Half of all sales on Amazon’s global sites have been made by smaller, independent businesses.

In 2016, small UK firms achieved export sales of £1.8bn via Amazon Marketplace, which then represented a 29 per cent increase on 2015 figures.

Commenting on the latest exports landmark, Doug Gurr, Amazon UK country manager, said the internet had given small business owners access to “millions of additional potential customers”.

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One entrepreneur finding export success via Amazon Marketplace is Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, founder of East London glue startup Sugru, who claimed sales had been increasing by 100 per cent every year since trading on the platform.

“From launching our business in the UK, we’ve now expanded to sell through Amazon across seven countries, and now Amazon in the U.S. is our single largest customer,” Ni Dhulchaointigh said.

“With more than two million customers globally, we look forward to boosting our export sales even further in 2017.”

Welcoming the figures, Liam Fox, government international trade secretary, said: “The growth in SME exports on sites such as Amazon shows what can be achieved, and I welcome the company’s commitments to help more small companies go digital so they can grow their businesses and create jobs up and down the country.”

The statistics were released alongside the announcement of the first Amazon Academy of 2018, a programme targeting the digital skills of small business owners. At last year’s event, Business Advice gathered online tips from a range of entrepreneurs and business leaders – find out what we learned.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and has previously worked as a content editor in local government and the ecommerce industry.

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