Scottish SMEs selling on Amazon achieve £90 million of export sales in 2020



Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) selling on Amazon recorded over £90 million in export sales in 2020.

The e-commerce giant’s 2021 UK SME Impact Report showed that 3,000 Scottish SMEs now sell professionally on the site’s stores, with around 450 in Edinburgh generating £20m in export sales in 2020, and 600 in Glasgow racking up more than £19.5m last year.

The UKs 65,000 SMEs selling on Amazon have created 175,000 jobs and recorded over £3.5bn in export sales in 2020.

Despite Covid-19 creating a number of challenges for small and medium-sized businesses, many have adapted and been able to get online for the first time and thrive.

More than 14,000 UK SMEs selling on Amazon surpassed £100,000 in sales, and more than 1,000 reached £1m in sales for the first time in 2020.

The top five categories from which customers purchased products sold by SMEs were home, health and personal care, toys, apparel and beauty.

Around 60% of all physical product sales on the Amazon store in the UK are from independent selling partners, most of whom are small and medium-sized UK businesses.

Between February 2020 and February 2021, more than 150 rural businesses generated sales of more than £250,000 selling on Amazon.

More than 60 rural businesses exceeded £1m in annual sales on Amazon alone, 17 of which are based in Scottish rural areas.

Glasgow-based Shearer Candles said that online demand has never been higher for its products, with consumers turning to the self-care home accessory to brighten their moods during lockdown.

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The family-run business temporarily lost all of its physical retail business at its two Glasgow stores and across shops they supplied, but online trading saw the company continuing to grow despite physical retail closing due to the pandemic.

Stephanie Barnet, product development and marketing manager for Shearer Candles, said: “Having an e-commerce branch of the business was a blessing for us – it was like we were never closed.

“In the last year our Amazon sales increased by 150%, as part of our wider e-commerce growth of 167% across the whole company.

“Pre-pandemic online sales used to make up 30% of the turnover and have since doubled.”

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