Business Technology

Eric Schmidt claims UK is ecommerce world leader – and gives tips on how to be a success

2 min read

31 December 2015

According to the executive chairman of Google’s parents company Alphabet, Eric Schmidt, the UK is the world leader in terms of ecommerce.

Schmidt recently claimed that “Britain is the leader in ecommerce in the world, far ahead of the US. Britain has every aspect to build £1bn, £10bn, £100bn companies. You have the right regulatory environment. You’ve got the right role within the European continent. Just look at the ecommerce plays and service plays that are now happening in London.”

He added: “Europe is pushing on a European digital single market and in the timeframe of you building a small startup, the Europeans will figure out a way of building a single digital market for your products.”

There were also no barriers to launching “a European-scale corporation that is larger than a US-scale corporation,” he explained.

Part of the reason for this, he said, was that UK entrepreneurs tended to sell up earlier than their US counterparts. However, he was convinced that UK firms could learn from the way US companies had the ability to become “very, very big”.

“If you have a strong franchise that’s growing quickly, you’re probably better off waiting a while before selling,” he said. This lesson could “easily be learned in Britain”.

Schmidt also offered some advice to entrepreneurs by saying the key to any successful startup was the product.

“The only thing that matters is the product quality,” he said. And in terms of social media, “lean distribution models are replacing big marketing and advertising budgets.

“If you have three people and a vision, you should be able to raise funds from friends and family, crowd-funding and early venture groups,” he said. “The key, however, is having a strong engineering lead. Without someone with a vested interest in the company to build the app or technology product, startups tend to struggle.”