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Businesses look to international online demand this Christmas

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A quarter of smaller UK businesses expect to boost their revenues this Christmas by meeting international demand for British goods, new research suggests.

PayPal surveyed 900 small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) who already used it services, and found that while 81% already sold overseas, 65% say that no more than a quarter of their revenue currently comes from international markets. That, says PayPal, offers room for expansion.

The alternative payment provider also cites research it carried out earlier this year, which found the UK was the second-most popular online shopping destination for buyers in China, the US, Germany, Australia and Brazil. Together, it says, this group is expected to spend more than £10bn on UK goods in 2013.

The research comes as PayPal launches a new website aimed at giving SMEs advice on selling internationally. The site includes guides, checklists and research about selling overseas, as well as advice on attracting international traffic as well as case studies and information on international customer behaviour.

“Overseas online sales could be a big win for businesses this Christmas,” said Mark Brant, general manager for PayPal UK & Ireland Merchant Services, “providing access to new customers without the hassle of setting up physical shops overseas.

“However breaking into new markets takes time and research, which often means it ends up bottom of the list for SME owners. Our new website is designed to be a go to advice centre to provide a useful shortcut to selling internationally.”

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