A new study conducted by Royal Mail has shown that small e-commerce businesses in the UK are striving more and more to break into new markets beyond Europe.

The annual tracker released by Royal Mail shows that over half of small online businesses in the UK (56%) are aiming to grow their international sales in new and existing markets in the coming year.

48% of sellers consider the Eurozone to be a key market in 2016, increasing from 30% in 2015. However there are similar increases in other regions further afield, with Australasia seeing significant improvement. 23% of sellers have stated an intention to export to this region in 2016 compared to just 5% in 2015.

Asia is another market that more businesses are trying to break into with 26% of sellers looking at exporting to the region in the coming months compared to just 12% last year. The US remains the biggest market outside Europe for international exports, with almost a third (30%) of businesses selling to the country.

More businesses are actively promoting their export options too – of those who do sell overseas, 57% said they actively marketed their international delivery opportunities, while 33% only display the options at checkout stage. The final 10% don’t advertise international delivery and only fulfil on it on special request.

When asked about the report, Richard Snowdon, Royal Mail’s International Director, said: “Royal Mail’s annual tracker of small online retailers shows that there is a huge appetite for exporting among UK small businesses.

“But it also shows that over a third could be missing out on sales by not actively promoting their international capabilities to encourage foreign custom.

“We believe that 2016 could be the year that exporting becomes big business for small online retailers in the UK and we have a range of international delivery options designed to make this process as simple as possible.”

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