Small online businesses are optimistic about their prospects in 2016, according to findings from a new eBay study.
Almost half (49 per cent) of the online retailers polled said they were confident about the economy and their own plans for growth this year. Twenty two per cent were not hopeful about their prospects.
The figures emerged from the Small Business Optimism Index (SBOI), eBay’s newly launched indicator of the attitudes and performance of businesses that trade on its global online marketplace. A study was conducted among 400 small firms, and was carried out in partnership with YouGov.
Other highlights include:
- 40 per cent of small businesses expect to expand their product offering during the year.
- 13 per cent are planning to take on more staff.
- 13 per cent hope to trade in more global markets.
Kit Glover, director of professional selling for eBay UK, said: “The business community should be very encouraged by the findings of our Small Business Optimism Index.
“Despite a tough retail environment, the fact that digital small businesses are looking to expand their product offerings, export to more foreign markets and thus employ more people here in the UK can only be a good thing.”
Sales across UK e-commerce reached £573 billion last year, a £12 billion increase from 2014. The SBOI’s findings suggest the sector is set for continued growth this year.