E-commerce saves small businesses

Shop owners who have decided to sell their goods online say the move has saved their businesses, according to a survey from eBay.

Some four-fifths (79 per cent) of retailers claim they couldn’t have kept their high street presence alive without being online at the same time, according to a survey from eBay.

Shaun Redhead, manager of Intersales Music, says his income has doubled since he began selling online two years ago. ‘As a result, we’ve been able to invest more into our business and grow at a rapid pace. Most importantly, it has allowed us to expand our bricks and mortar shop; in fact we have now bought the store next door and doubled the shop in size,’ he says.

While British shoppers currently spend £1 in every £13 online, eBay sees this rising to £1 in £5 over the next decade, with online sales in categories such as electricals and books exceeding those offline.

Mark Lewis, managing director for eBay in the UK, says retailers can’t afford to ignore e-commerce. ‘To ensure businesses continue to thrive on the high street, they must raise their game and exploit new sales channels. The internet can provide a lifeline to all businesses, connecting them to customers across the globe.’

According to online sales body IMRG, e-commerce was up by 11 per cent in November compared to last year, with shoppers spending £5.3 billion online last month.

See also: The essential guide to setting up a business on eBay

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