Amazon helped UK small businesses reap a record £2bn worth of sales in 2017

Helping even the smallest start-up export to the world, Amazon can also offer businesses loans of between $1,000 and $750,000 for up to 12 months

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UK small businesses have had a record year on Amazon, with the online marketplace giant helping British sellers achieve record sales of £2.3bn for 2017.

Allowing event the smallest UK start-up to sell its goods to the global market, the total number of sales from British sellers on the site was up on 2016’s record of £1.8bn – with Amazon also announcing a new scheme to further boost world sales for domestic sellers.

Allowing small businesses to trade without language barriers, as well as offering global delivery and distribution, customer services in local languages and free product listing translations, 60% of all UK entrepreneurs on Amazon Marketplace export abroad – with half of all Amazon’s total sales coming from independent businesses.

Read more: How to start an Amazon Marketplace business

One example of a unique UK start-up successfully selling on Amazon is Young Gun-founded sugru – which creates an innovative all-purpose putty that can be used for everything from repairing broken toys to adding hooks to existing items.

Launched in 2009 by Jane ni Dhulchaointigh and based in East London, the start-up says its sales on the global marketplace have grown by more than 100% every year.

Ni Dhulchaointigh, said:

“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.

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

Not just providing a place for start-ups to sell, sell, sell – Amazon also provides finance to businesses in the form of Amazon Lending.

Offering loans for resident sellers from $1,000 and $750,000 for up to 12 months, with rates ranging from 6% to 17%, the company supplies funds from its own balance sheet within 24 hours and automatically deducts payments every two weeks from the customer’s account.

In the event of non-payment, Amazon will freeze the merchant’s account.

Back in June 2017, it was revealed that 50% of all businesses that had taken out a loan via Amazon Lending had been able to secure a second loan.

Welcoming the news of increased British exports via Amazon, Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, said:

“The growth in small business 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.”

Speaking about the opportunities Amazon can offer small firms in the UK, Henry Croft, research analyst at Accendo Markets, said:

“Traditionally, consumers abroad would look towards their domestic market to consume goods.

“With the rise of Amazon, these markets are now open to the UK retailer as well as domestic producers, although alongside the positives comes the obvious negative: this works both ways, and the UK Amazon seller will have to compete with like-minded individuals across the world to capture sales.

“Similarly, the UK high street now has to compete with overseas Amazon sellers to attract the UK consumer. A boon for small businesses, but a hindrance for retail stalwarts across the world now facing fresh competition.”

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