Many SME online retailers plan to use alternative channels to increase sales, according to research conducted by the Royal Mail. The firm’s annual tracker study revealed that 63% of e-tailers intend to utilise outlets other than their own websites to sell through.

Popular options being considered include going down the traditional retail route by opening a shop or having a concession in an established outlet. Online retailers opening a high street store to boost business will need shop insurance in place to protect buildings and contents along with providing essential cover such as public liability.

The most favourable move mentioned was using online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon to shift stock.

Nick Landon, Managing Director of Royal Mail Parcels, said simplifying the returns process is another key focus for many small retailers this year, with around 27% aiming to improve this procedure in order to increase customer satisfaction.

He said: “The Royal Mail’s annual tracker study of UK SME online retailers shows that there is strong optimism for growth despite increasing competition.

“UK SME online retailers are thinking carefully about how they can develop their businesses during 2015, with one in four looking to expand to online marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon Marketplace.”

Advantages of small businesses selling through online marketplaces

There are many reasons why small retailers might decide to sell their products through the likes of eBay, Amazon and Etsy. Especially for start-ups that haven’t yet built a recognisable brand, having items displayed on these popular and powerful websites has the potential to attract numerous new customers and sales.

On the downside, there are usually fees to pay and limitations on how you can communicate with buyers.

Are you planning on opening a shop or launching a new online store? Contract The Insurance Octopus today to find out more and get a quote on a bespoke insurance package for retailers.