Why the digital revolution is challenging businesses to trade beyond borders

John Rubidge
Head of Innovation in Services | Department for International Trade - South West
14th May 2014

Living in a digital age is totally transforming how we buy and sell goods and services, how we communicate, connect, and collaborate with people, and it’s shaping a whole new way of thinking.

The average person now owns around 2-3 smart devices that are all easily connected to the online world that we call the ‘internet’. We’ve all used the likes of ebay and amazon to buy goods and gifts, and I’m sure you’ve been impressed by the speed at which these then transfer from the screen to your home.

If you have a business then there has never been a better time to think about exporting for the first time or expanding your horizons when it comes to increasing sales revenue and profit.

This digital revolution and the birth of social media platforms has created an “always-on” culture that has made it possible to reach new customers in all corners of the world, now with only a few clicks of a button.

Combine this with the demographic transition which has taken place across the world over the past 40 years, where people in markets such as Brazil, India, China, South Africa and Indonesia are getting richer and richer,  it becomes clear that you’d be foolish to ignore these exciting opportunities to attract new customers. In Brazil alone there is a growing middle-class that’s already spending approximately £2.5 billion a year on importing British products and services.

It’s safe to say that many international markets are hungry to buy the best Britain can offer but there is also compelling evidence that highlights how exporting will be the only gateway to rapid and sustainable growth for many businesses in the 21st century.

By 2020 the ever growing global economy will have enabled more than 52% of the world population to become middle-class, that’s 1.4 billion more people than in 2010.

The digital revolution means that trade is now borderless. Wi-Fi is everywhere and there is no time delay on getting paid. The future looks bright for those who are ready to take on the exporting challenge, with a record year in 2013 for UK exports to the high growth and emerging markets.

To inspire you to take advantage of the digital revolution, and to find out more watch our video here:

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