ebayE-commerce giant eBay has said small online businesses in the UK believe postage costs and delivery issues will be the major limiting factor to their growth this year.

The firm has commissioned a YouGov poll that showed nearly one in three small online businesses (31%) believe postage costs and delivery issues will limit their growth in the coming year.

The company said 74% said the cost of overseas shipping would be an obstacle in their ability to reach new customers outside the UK.

Among other issues cited by businesses surveyed as potentially limiting their growth over the next 12 months, 25% said increasing competition, 10% said staff and pension costs, while 7% mentioned concerns about a lack of suitable staff.

The survey of 307 businesses was carried out at the end of January and start of February this year.

eBay said its survey revealed that 27% of small business owners believe the government needs to drive improved postal and delivery services among its policy priorities in order to boost business growth.

Tanya Lawler, vice president of eBay in the UK, said: “We have been calling on Government and policy makers for years to do more to level the playing field for Britain’s army of SMEs by reducing postal costs and improving delivery and logistics services. These diverse businesses are vital to the UK because they are the engine of our growth at home and abroad, with more than 4 in 5 small businesses on eBay in the UK selling internationally.

“We invest in infrastructure and technology that would be too expensive for small businesses to build for themselves: from Click and Collect to our Global Shipping platform. It’s time for political parties to listen up and gave these entrepreneurial businesses the attention they deserve.”


By Alison