UK SME e-retailers expect sales growth in 2015, says report

Seven out of ten UK SME online retailers are in a positive mood for the year ahead.

The majority of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the UK’s online sector believe that 2015 will see sales increase, with seven out of ten respondents expecting sales growth, according the the Royal Mail’s annual tracker study. Moreover, the optimistic outlook on growth comes despite three quarters (76 per cent) of SME online retailers believing that market competition is more intense when compared with 2014.

Last year saw improved market conditions, impressive economic growth and a shift in sentiment in the UK that saw consumers who were more willing to part with their income. The study found that 58 per cent of respondents reported an increase in sales last year.

“Royal Mail’s annual tracker study of UK SME online retailers shows that there is strong optimism for growth despite increasing competition,” said Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels.

Sales boosted by customer satisfaction

According to the study, increased customer satisfaction was a deciding factor in securing sales, which was boosted by upholding such standards as delivery when expected and competitive prices. Not to mention, a simple returns policy was shown to be a key factor in keeping customer satisfaction levels up in 2014.

This shift to a more overall optimistic environment has many companies looking to expand, hoping to capture a greater market share. Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of UK SME e-retailers are looking to increase the number of channels they trade through in 2015.

Many of these retailers aim to utilise already popular marketplaces in a bid to capture the attention of their well established customer-base.

“UK SME online retailers are thinking carefully about how they can develop their businesses during 2015, with one in four looking to expand to online marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon Marketplace,” added Mr Landon.

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