Independent research published ahead of the first-ever Amazon Academy in Wales, launched to help Welsh SMEs further boost their exports, revenue and productivity through e-commerce reveals that businesses in Wales exported products worth more than £100m by selling on Amazon last year.

The independent research, conducted by economics consultancy Keystone Strategy, also found that welsh SMEs employ more than 3,000 people to run their sales activities on Amazon.

The research was published ahead of the Amazon Academy in Newport, where hundreds of small businesses from across Wales came together yesterday to benefit from free, practical information and advice on how to grow their export sales and succeed in the digital economy. As these entrepreneurs grow their businesses through multiple channels, they are expected to continue creating jobs and boosting the Welsh economy.

The Amazon Academy delivered free workshops to welsh SMEs with information, tips and insights on how to use e-commerce to grow their business as well as boost export sales and improve their productivity through digital tools and services.

The event was run in partnership with Enterprise Nation, the Department for International Trade, Be the Spark, Superfast Business Wales and Be the Business. Attendees were given the opportunity to meet representatives from these organisations, alongside a number of small businesses that have succeeded in exporting through e-commerce. Experts from government organisations also offered advice for budding entrepreneurs who want to start a business, or those who are in business but have a desire to export.

“Welsh businesses achieving £100m exports last year by selling on Amazon is a great achievement, and shows how the country is taking up the global opportunities offered by the digital economy,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “This is just the beginning and there’s more to do and more to achieve. So I hope through programmes like the Amazon Academy, we can help even more businesses grow their revenue, increase their productivity and boost exports, to build a stronger economy and create more jobs in the country.”

Since launching in 2016, the Amazon Academy programme has helped over 2,000 SMEs and individuals in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Newcastle and Manchester learn how to grow their businesses through greater digital adoption, and forms parts of the company’s ongoing efforts to help SMEs from across the UK grow their businesses, in particular by boosting their e-commerce and export sales.

Amazon offers a suite of support tools to help businesses export their products and services, including providing global delivery and distribution, managing customer services in the local language and translating hundreds of millions of product listings each year on behalf of small businesses. As a result, six-in-ten UK-based businesses selling on Amazon now export abroad, with more than half of all global sales on Amazon coming from third-party businesses.

Jem Skelding runs a successful local business in Neath called Naissance, exporting goods, creating jobs and increasing revenue by selling on Amazon. Commenting on the research, he said:

“Events like the Amazon Academy can help SMEs to get a better understanding of how to export by embracing e-commerce. At Naissance, this is something we’ve benefitted from hugely. We ship products across the UK and around Europe, but this is only possible because we have a strong digital presence. I’d encourage SMEs of all shapes and sizes to embrace technology for growth and open the door to exporting and it’s great to see the Amazon Academy come to Wales and help business owners to get a deeper understanding of e-commerce and exports.” 

Shawn Cullen, Digital Business Adviser, Superfast Business Wales, added:

“We’re thrilled that the Amazon Academy is coming to Newport. The advice offered to guests today by experts on the day is invaluable and sure to leaving a lasting impact on business owners here. I’m looking forward to the event and can’t wait to meet many of the hundreds of SMEs that will be in attendance.”