eBay says North beats South as hub of English online selling

The North of England is the UK’s online retailing hotspot according to a new report from eBay’s Public Policy Lab.

Denting the popular perception that London is the country’s ecommerce powerhouse, eBay’s report shows that Greater Manchester has a greater concentration of small online businesses than anywhere else in England. The report, based on newly released eBay data, has been independently analysed by law firm, Sidley Austin LLP.

The report calculates “digital densities” based on the volume of small online retail businesses operating in a region and their sales, as a proportion of the local population. Central London, which includes Shoreditch and Tech City, is in 26th place.

The top English regions with the highest concentration of small online retail businesses are:

1 Greater Manchester
2 Lancashire
3 West Yorkshire
4 Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire
5 Essex
6 Cheshire
7 West Midlands
8 Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire
9 Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
10 Shropshire and Staffordshire

Sarah Calcott of eBay UK says: “Our research shows that technology is opening up tremendous opportunities for small businesses across the UK with digital clusters spread across the country, particularly in the North West and Yorkshire.

At eBay we’re working hard to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit of small online businesses, providing them with the tools and the flexibility to export millions of British goods abroad, despite lacking the infrastructure of a traditional exporter.

Our technology is now breaking down barriers to global markets by allowing small businesses access to products and services that were once the preserve of large firms, such as smart shipping, international payments and translation, and using our global market to access millions of potential customers.”

eBay gum.