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UKTI e-Exporting Programme: help for UK retailers who want to sell products internationally

28 October, 2015


The UK government has launched a support programme to help UK retailers trade internationally through ecommerce and digital marketing.

UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) e-Exporting Programme can help UK retailers and brands sell products overseas by offering access to international e-marketplaces and product listings at specially negotiated reduced rates.

The international potential of ecommerce

I cut my business teeth in retail: first managing a chain of optometrists stores, then setting up and running the UK’s biggest e-commerce site for designer sunglasses. Through digital marketing for, I have been able to work with clients from as far afield as Australia and the US, and earlier this year was invited as an ecommerce speaker to give a talk to retailers in Ibiza.

So helping retailers achieve success through their ecommerce platforms and digital campaigns is something I’m really passionate about.

The internet gives retailers huge opportunities not only to target locally (through Google local search optimisation), but also internationally, to reach customers all over the world.

That’s why I wanted to highlight the UKTI e-exporting programme.

online retail

Here’s what UKTI says about the scheme:

UK online retail exports are set to reach £60bn by 2018 (Source: IORMA, 2014).

By joining UKTI’s e-Exporting Programme, UK retailers and brands can reach consumers overseas through e-marketplaces.

An e-marketplace is an online location that provides a platform for retailers of all sizes to do business through e-commerce. Popular e-marketplaces include Amazon, Tmall and eBay. UKTI have identified over 400 e-marketplaces worldwide.

By selling online through an e-marketplace UK retailers can:

  • find new customers
  • analyse data on what consumers are searching for
  • build awareness of their brands


Demand for British goods from online consumers around the world is growing fast. UKTI have negotiated preferential rates for UK retailers and brands to list their products on some of the world’s major e-commerce platforms and e-marketplaces. These include (US), (China) and (France).

Join UKTI’s e-Exporting Programme to:

  • meet with a Digital Trade Adviser to discuss export plans
  • receive help and advice on building your online and e-commerce presence
  • increase the reach of your brand globally
  • identify new e-marketplaces around the world
  • set up on e-marketplaces quickly
  • attend events and webinars about retail/e-commerce opportunities

If you’re looking to sell online for the first time, you can also get help with:

  • trademark registration
  • website URL registration
  • landed cost calculation
  • packaging, shipping, payment
  • tax registration
  • marketing and related services

Online shoppingE-Marketplace opportunities for UK retailers and brands

UKTI has agreements with global e-marketplaces to help UK retailers and brands sell through these e-commerce platforms and have negotiated better than commercial rates for UKTI clients to list on each platform.

North and South America

  • Newegg – Second largest pure play retailer in the US, covers 9 countries, core strength is consumer electronics.


  • Amazon Japan – Second largest online retailer in Japan, 16% of Amazon’s global traffic.
  • – Chinese fashion and lifestyle website. 40 million unique monthly visitors and fully localised website across 6 different countries.
  • – Largest flash sale site in the world, main focus is apparel, 100 million registered users and 12 million+ unique visitors a day.
  • Lazada – Offers opportunity for UK exporters to enter SE Asia with market leader in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Phillippines as well as Singapore. 40 million unique monthly visitors and fully localised website.

Middle East and Africa

  • MarkaVIP – The largest fashion and lifestyle shopping destination for the Arabic speaking world offering everyday lifestyle and branded products to Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Live in 8 countries with 5 million members.
  • SPREE.COM – SPREE is part of the Naspers Group and is based on a shoppable magazine format leveraging their extensive media and publishing assets in Africa. Category focus for UK brands are apparel, home décor, beauty and gifting.

How to join

You can find out more about the scheme and watch the introductory video by visiting the e-exporting page on the UKTI website.

online shopping

Ecommerce and digital marketing advice for retailers

For more advice on ecommerce for retailers (including social retail, or selling through social media pages), you might find some of my previous blog posts useful:

‘Not Difficult, Just Different: 5 steps to Exporting’ is an event taking place in Doncaster on Friday 13th November in order to help local business leaders, entrepreneurs or anyone who simply wants to share their expertise, learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to trading internationally. Three leading Doncaster exporters, Pacy Wheatley, Noel Village and World Feeds, will be speaking at the breakfast event held at the Vulcan exhibit. This event is definitely not one to be missed, so be sure to register now to secure your place!

As you might have guessed, I love ecommerce website design, SEO and conversion optimization; and running digital marketing and social media campaigns for clients – so if you would like to take your ecommerce or social retail up another notch, contact me today and lets discuss your project!

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