Digital small businesses fear postage costs and delivery logistics will hamper growth » SMEInsider

Digital small businesses fear postage costs and delivery logistics will hamper growth

Postage costs and delivery logistics are deemed to be the biggest barriers to growth in the next 12 months by digital small businesses, according to a new study of online business sentiment by eBay.

Nearly a third (31 per cent) of businesses surveyed by YouGov on behalf of the online marketplace said that postage costs and delivery logistics will limit the growth of their business in the coming year.

A further 74 per cent said that the cost of overseas shipping is an obstacle that limits their ability to reach customers in new markets and trade outside the UK.

Increasing competition in their sector is also a concern for one in four small businesses (25 per cent) as they assess their short term growth prospects.

In contrast, less than one in 10 (7 per cent) small online businesses surveyed are concerned about a lack of suitable staff, challenging assertions of an apparent skills crisis. Just 10 per cent regard staff wages and pension costs as barriers to growth.

With a General Election around the corner, small businesses have a clear view on the government support needed to help online businesses thrive. Some 48 per cent of the business owners surveyed also called for taxes to be lowered for all businesses, with 31 per cent calling for investment in faster broadband, and 27 per cent for improved postal and delivery services. Some 17 per cent believe there should be better advice for small businesses about setting up and running an online business, while 16 per cent think there should be more police effort to tackle cybercrime and fraud.

The survey included 307 owners of small businesses who have an eBay account or online presence.