UK e-commerce start-ups look set to scale in 2016

74% of the country's small e-tailers increased sales in 2015 - the highest rate in three years

80% of the UK’s e-commerce businesses are confident that sales will increase in 2016, according to the Royal Mail’s annual tracker study.

An analysis of the expectations and ambitions of the UK’s small e-tailers, the report discovered that 74% of e-tailers have increased sales in the last year – the highest level in the last three years – compared to 58% in 2014 and 49% in 2013.

When it came to reasons for growth, the vast majority of respondents cited customer satisfaction and on-time delivery, followed by the quality of products (62%) and price of goods (57%).

Despite increased confidence, 53% of the e-commerce businesses surveyed said that competition became more intense in 2015. The growing use of smartphones for shopping (47%) and price promotions (44%) were listed as new factors that had contributed to competition this year, alongside price sensitivity and the rising number of new online companies.

Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, said of the study: “Confidence is continuing to grow this year and technology is playing an ever more important role in the retail world.

“Technology is influencing how people shop, where they shop and what they define as an excellent shopping experience. Our research shows that small online retailers are plugged in to the needs of the shopper and they are taking actions to enable them to meet the demands of the discerning online consumer.”

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