Amazon has announced a scheme to boost international trade after revealing £2.3 billion in sales for small British businesses over the past year.
According to the online giant, UK sellers’ revenues shot up 28 per cent from £1.8 billion last year, with a large portion of these being sold abroad.
Sixty per cent of UK sellers reportedly export goods abroad and Amazon said around half of the sales on its international platforms came from SMEs.
International trade secretary Liam Fox said he welcomed “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”.
Despite the clear benefits for British SMEs in a time when high street trading is becoming increasingly challenging, Accendo Markets research analyst Henry Croft told The Telegraph that it also poses dangers.
“Traditionally, consumers abroad would look towards their domestic market to consume goods,” he said.
“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 SMEs, but a hindrance for retail stalwarts across the world now facing fresh competition.”