Due to the increasing popularity of online shopping – plus the growth of American ‘holidays’ such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday – the number of small businesses joining GS1 UK to trade on Amazon, Google Shopping, and eBay has risen 300% year-on-year.
The business communication standards organisation enables companies to secure a unique identification number in order to trade online; 2,400 joined GS1 this year, compared with 800 in 2016 and 450 in 2015.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon is the most popular online marketplace for new joiners, with 75% looking to sell on the site and 41% utilising eBay.
This growth is set to continue yet further, with 53% of UK retailers planning to do more and more business via online marketplaces in the next five years. Only 3% of businesses plan to use online marketplaces less often and 24% said they have no intention of starting to use third party platforms.
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Monica Bird, Head of Marketplaces for GS1 UK, said: “Online marketplaces are fast becoming the top choice for businesses looking to sell their products around the world. Many SMEs are now choosing these sites as their first route to market, with some using them as their only sales channel, as they provide access to millions of consumers, without the costs of developing their own website.
“While online marketplaces offer businesses the chance to increase exposure and sales, each site is different and comes with its own unique capabilities. Businesses must ensure they use a tailored strategy each site to increase profits and make to most of the opportunities available.”
Today – Cyber Monday – is one of the biggest online shopping days of the year; this time last year, consumers spent £1.1 billion.
GS1 UK has also published new research into the personas of businesses using online marketplaces, and how businesses can get the most out of these sites, which can be read here: The rise of UK’s digital entrepreneurs: harnessing the power of online marketplaces