Royal Mail study suggests E-retailers are planning to expand into physical stores in coming year

Royal Mail study suggests E-retailers  are planning to expand into physical stores in coming yearA study by Royal Mail suggests that one in six e-tail SMEs are planning to expand into physical stores over the coming year in the face of growing competition in the online retail market.

Nick Landon, Managing Director of Royal Mail Parcels said, "Royal Mail's annual tracker study of UK SME online retailers shows that while the majority expect to increase sales, competition is more intense than it was last year."

He said, "UK SME online retailers are thinking carefully about how they can develop their businesses during 2014. They are concentrating on exploiting as many channels to market as possible, adding space in physical premises and online marketplace listings to complement their existing web channel."

The annual tracker study, which took into account about 400 SME online retailers, found that 16 per cent expect to either open a physical store or seek space in one to increase sales. Additionally, 15 per cent were planning to spread out by using online marketplaces to sell their goods.

New entrants were increasing the level of competition in the online market the study also found. Some 54 per cent of more than 400 UK SME online retailers surveyed believe competition for online shoppers is more intense than last year. 59 per cent said this was because there are more web sites to compete with. 57 per cent said customer price sensitivity was a reason for increased competition.

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