As the long-time industrial soul of Britain, Scotland’s economy has historically thrived on being more physical. So maybe it’s not surprising that, regardless of the launch of recent productivity programmes with access to modern tech, adopting e-commerce into their businesses have proven tough for many Scottish SMEs, according to new research by YouGov.
Commissioned by Amazon, YouGov’s latest survey reveals that a whopping 59% of Scottish SMEs do not use e-commerce to sell products and services, with a stubborn 90% further stating they have no intentions to do so next year. However, in testimony to the captivation of e-commerce, when it comes to the 41% having taken the plunge, only 1% don’t plan to increase their use of e-commerce in order to grow sales. Moreover, newly born Scottish startups in their first year of trading proved to be the most comfortable with digital sales at 44%, only behind SMEs operating in the retail sector at 74%.
Commenting on the results Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon, said: “The findings show there’s still a fair degree of hesitation from SMEs in Scotland about selling globally and adopting great use of digital, despite the huge opportunities they bring. Last year we saw tens of thousands of UK businesses achieve £2.3bn in exports by selling around the world on Amazon.”
The findings precede the launch of an Amazon Academy in Glasgow, where the e-commerce titan looks to dig up a potential £15bn from rural UK businesses alone by introducing digital sales to the less tech-savvy. Indeed, Scotland could prove to be a gold mine in such an expedition.