Lord Livingston Launches UKTI’s e-Exporting Programme

UKTI’s e-Exporting Programme is a response to how the rise of the web over the last 20 years has changed the way that UK companies succeed in the global economy. This will include an evolution in the support currently being provided by UKTI on export strategy. It will present key opportunities to UK companies wanting to use online channels to drive their exports.

This dramatic change in UKTI export advice, to include online opportunities, will be communicated through UKTI’s global network. This includes UKTI’s overseas network, allowing them to offer support to UK companies entering foreign markets. Advice available under the e-Exporting Programme will also be available to UKTI’s national network of international trade advisors, working with UK companies in every region across the country to exercise their export plans. It will also be communicated to UKTI partners within the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. UKTI’s overseas trade missions and events will also including e-exporting content and advice, as well as acting as a vehicle for UK companies wanting to enrol onto the programme.

Initially, UKTI’s e-Exporting Programme will focus on servicing the UK consumer goods sector, identified as the fastest growing sector for online exports. This service will include UKTI signing formal agreements with the world’s major e-marketplaces in order to allow UK consumer good companies to e-export efficiently through these goliath channels.

What is e-exporting?

The term e-exporting is defined as the act of selling your products overseas through the internet’s various e-commerce channels as a fast, more efficient route to new markets. This presents an alternative to the traditional model for exporting, such as setting up a physical presence in a new market or using a distributor, which can be timely and expensive.

Why e-export?

All businesses that are selling to global consumers (the B2C channel) should be examining how e-exporting and the use of multiple channels can benefit their global expansion. Companies wishing to gain market share globally must reach out to their target consumers through their chosen channels, which is increasingly online channels. In some markets purchasing decisions and brand trust are acquired primarily through online channels. Companies that do not operate in these spaces will not optimise their growth and seize market share.

Today, 70 per cent of UK retailers are using e-exporting to access international markets. This has helped to establish the UK as the most developed online market in the EU. By 2018, the value of UK e-exporting is estimated to be £66 billion (Source: IORMA, 2014).

UK companies are also in a prime location for e-exporting to the world as the UK has been identified as a global leader in online exporting (Source: Qubit, 2014). This is largely due to a global demand for UK goods, associated with quality, innovation and heritage. Global consumers are increasingly buying via the web and expect UK goods to be available to them to purchase online. With online consumers forecast to rise by 3 billion over the next two years, there is a huge opportunity for UK companies to cater for this audience by presenting their goods online, such as through an e-marketplace. This opportunity is particularly ripe for UK consumer goods companies, as the fastest growing categories for global e-exports are;

  • Men’s and Women’s apparel
  • Footwear and accessories
  • Health and beauty
  • Sport and outdoor
  • Home and Garden
  • Electronics
  • Giftware and Jewellery
  • Food and Drink (Source: McKinsey 2013)
  • Specifically within these categories there is a global demand for luxury goods.

What is an e-marketplace?

An e-marketplace is an online location that provides a platform for retailers of all sizes to conduct business through e-commerce. Well known examples include Amazon, Tmall and eBay.

How can UKTI help my business to e-export?

UKTI provides support for businesses based in the UK wanting to expand overseas, particularly through exports.

This support is provided by UKTI’s vast network of industry specialists and advisors, who hold a wealth of knowledge on all the ways you can access a new market efficiently, including through e-exporting.

UKTI’s e-Exporting Programme will deliver a new enhanced suite of services for UK companies with global ambitions. This will include tailored advice specifically aimed at online opportunities for export-ready businesses. These added services augment the current opportunities for UK companies within the UKTI suite including the Export Communications Review.