The new measures will offer immediate support to businesses by providing specialist advice on online retail and international market places. Additionally, the launch of a new Consumer and Retail Export Academy will provide businesses with the critical knowledge, skills and networks needed to increase exports.
“We recognise that Coronavirus has brought challenges to many industries, not least the consumer and retail sector, where so much depends on face-to-face interactions. This package of support will give businesses the helping hand they need to adapt their methods and thrive in the future”, Graham Stuart MP, Minister for Export.
The plans will outline long-term support as new export opportunities arise from trade deals being negotiated with the US, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. E-commerce will be at the heart of the plans, with measures tailored to help consumer and retail businesses develop international, multi-channel, e-commerce strategies fit for the changing retail environment.
The value of online sales has risen by more than 300% in the last ten years. As a result of Coronavirus, this trend is expected to continue. Many UK businesses are already experiencing increased online sales.
The full range of measures announced today include:
1. Consumer and Retail Export Academy: A digital learning syllabus of consumer & retail-focused webinars available through DIT’s online platforms; a dedicated regional coaching programme; and an extensive library of industry-specific factsheets on key export markets.
2. Boosted digital and e-commerce offer to consist of three initiatives:
a. International Clicks Fast Track Initiative:
Access to new DIT partnerships with business-to-business marketplaces, increasing the routes to market following store closures due to COVID-19.
b. Omnichannel Optimiser Initiative:
Tailored advice for consumer and retail businesses to help them develop an international multi-channel strategy to help them succeed online;
Exclusive e-commerce related insights from industry experts via talks, virtual events and podcasts;
A specialist webinar series equipping exporters with e-commerce knowledge to help them take advantage of the growing digital opportunities that have emerged from the COVID-19 outbreak.
c. FDI e-commerce marketing campaign:
Digitally led marketing activity to showcase e-commerce inward investment opportunities to potential international investors.
3. UKEF offer: Further outreach and engagement with the industry to respond to the industry’s needs; a refreshed ‘Exporters Edge’ campaign to raise awareness of the support available; and easier access to working capital to allow a wider range of businesses to access support.
4. A digital investment prospectus: A prospectus detailing the UK’s RetailTech offer and unique capabilities. This will be promoted in key markets to engage with inward investors.
5. Showcasing ‘Brand Britain’ at global events: Leveraging Government presence at high profile events to provide a platform for consumer goods companies to showcase their offering to a global audience; enabling UK companies to use GREAT branding at global events; engaging consumer and retail businesses in the Midlands region to help them take advantage of DIT’s international events, and Hyve Group PLC’s market-leading trade shows as a platform to reach overseas buyers.
For further reference, please refer to the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bounce-back-plans-launched-for-consumer-and-retail-industry