Amazon has unveiled a scheme to help small to medium enterprises (SMEs) succeed in a digital economy after revealing that UK SMEs selling on its marketplace achieved record export sales of £2.3 billion last year.
According to the online giant, UK sellers’ revenues increased 28% from £1.8 billion last year, with a large portion of these being sold abroad.
In an attempt to boost international trade, Amazon has opened registrations for its first Amazon Academy 2018.
The programme is a series of free events across the UK which provides practical advice to help SMEs thrive, in particular by growing their export sales.
The first event will take place on April 17 at the SEC Centre in Glasgow.
Amazon said the Academy forms part of the company’s ongoing efforts to help SMEs from across the UK grow their businesses.
Welcoming the move, Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, 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.”
Amazon offers support tools to help businesses export their products and services, including providing global delivery and distribution, managing customer services in the local language and translating hundreds of millions of product listings each year on behalf of smaller businesses.
As a result, six in ten UK-based businesses selling on Amazon Marketplace now export abroad, with half of all sales on Amazon’s global sites coming from smaller, independent businesses.
“We are seeing a record number of British SMEs selling their products across Europe, North America, Japan, China and India, opening themselves to millions of additional potential customers through the power of the internet,” said Amazon UK country manager Doug Gurr.