With UK e-commerce set to grow by 18% in 2015, online retailers could be missing out on valuable opportunities due to a lack of skills and knowledge, according to an expert in the sector.
Statistics from the Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index suggest that only 50% of SMEs have a website and most of those only provide basic functionality.
Worse, a third of those businesses are without basic online skills and 75% don’t invest any money in improving digital skills.
But Andy Geldman found of Web Retailer, says there are no excuses for businesses not to get the support they need due to the many free and government-funded training opportunities, workshops and seminars now available and which often take place in a virtual setting.
“In addition to the many specialist trainers, consultants and advisor-led events, there are a number of free council, organisation and UKTI-hosted events across the country designed to help businesses of all sizes utilise e-commerce tools,” he said.
“By making use of the resources available to them, businesses can learn how to become much more competitive against others in the market, whether using e-commerce as a basis for all business or to supplement existing outlets or services.”
Web Retailer has just launched a new independent events listing service, making it easier for retailers to find an array of online and offline events.
Tackling a variety of business critical e-commerce topics, including customer service, international sales, technology, SEO, and online marketplaces, the listings are completely free and allow members and visitors to discover talks, conferences and webinars around the world, as well as select and book the ones which are of most interest.
“As online shopping becomes increasingly more popular, businesses must explore training to further advance their skills or risk getting left behind,” added Geldman. “By creating the Web Retailer calendar of the various training events we’ve discovered, we hope to help many e-commerce businesses to improve their understanding of what needs to be done to succeed in an incredibly competitive marketplace.”
Web Retailer is a free global community site for ecommerce businesses, with over 10,000 members worldwide. It features a software directory, discussion forum, in-depth articles and research – all specifically tailored for small to mid-sized businesses selling products online.
Web Retailer was originally launched in 2003 as The eBay Software Review, before changing its name to The Auction Software Review soon afterwards, reflecting the wide range of online marketplaces available. It has since grown to become one of the world’s leading ecommerce websites.