Scotland: a trading nation

A plan for growing Scotland's exports.

6.4 Digital support

Research tells us that more and more global trade is done via digital platforms, whether that is business-to-consumer or, increasingly, business-to-business trade. These new electronic sales channels are increasingly becoming the preferred way to trade especially in fast developing markets such as China. There is a clear need for Scottish businesses to get better connected into these new sales channels to be able to trade electronically and to avoid missing out on the huge global opportunities that these can deliver.

Working with our partners we will look to stimulate interest, raise awareness, build capacity and help equip Scottish businesses with the skills and knowledge they will need to seize the global opportunities via trading digitally.

Scottish Enterprise provides support on using ecommerce. Here businesses can find advice on selling online to international markets, building an international customer base online, using online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon and other international e-marketplaces, as well as information about joining free ecommerce workshops. A network of regional e-trade clubs will be established to assist with the growth of online selling.

There is significant scope to do more to increase the number of businesses managing their operations and promoting their products and services globally using digital platforms.

Using digital means to support exporting businesses can take a number of forms. As well as the sales channels described above, businesses seeking to grow and to potentially fulfil their ambition to enter new markets should have easy and quick digital access to the sources of advice and support they need. Work is well underway to develop a single access point to enable businesses to reach public sector support as and when they need it. It will provide a signposting and referral service which can be applied across the public sector to ensure business customers quickly get the right support at the right time. In addition, the DigitalBoost service is designed to offer digital check-ups, support and training for businesses to improve their digital capability. Businesses can also access funding through the Digital Development Loan scheme to improve their digital skills and processes in areas such as cyber security, data analytics and software engineering.

We will:

1. Continue to deliver and develop training programmes to support Scottish exporters to use online digital platforms effectively.

2. Continue work with partners organisations to increase awareness and develop expertise to support Scottish businesses selling online overseas.

3. Develop an e-marketplace International programme working with private sector partner organisations, including Amazon and eBay to enable Scottish businesses to gain awareness of the opportunities available, whilst enhancing their expertise and capability in digital platforms. 

4. Establish a network of e-trade clubs to support growth in online sales.

Back to top