With the UK preparing to leave the EU, after the majority of Britons voted for Brexit in June 2016, there are a number of uncertainties and concerns around what impacts this will have on cross commerce and whether businesses will be affected by this inevitable shift.
Recently, Theresa May, pushed her plan for her country’s withdrawal, which was agreed to by the EU. However, when it was presented to Britain’s Parliament, it was voted down by a huge margin, since this initial vote a further two votes have been unsuccessful and currently there is no deal agreed for the UK’s departure from the EU.
Theresa May’s original free trade aspect did promise the UK could continue to ship goods freely overseas without any duties or tariffs, which does seem suitable for eCommerce businesses. There would’ve been the possibility of additional paperwork for the shipping industry, but that would’ve been inevitable regardless.
The UK has been at the centre of European eCommerce for years, in fact, approximately 32% of all EU eCommerce sales in 2013 was attributed to the UK. The market is now very different to what it was in recent years. Businesses in the UK are now not as valuable to the EU and, with the Pound fluctuating, businesses are unlikely to be as comfortable trading internationally as they were before.
It’s been reported that some companies abroad have already stopped shipping to the UK over these uncertainties and it is becoming increasingly important to discuss any concerns with suppliers or customers to ensure you come to an agreement whilst the uncertainty is ongoing.
If you have an eCommerce business it’s vital to be prepared. Look into how you will be affected. Here are some things you may need to consider:
Ensure your eCommerce platform is accessible globally. With the change coming it’s likely the EU will prefer local eCommerce stores over ones outside the EU, making attempts to block the outside stores and leaving them unable to trade unless it’s a global site.
Have different currencies available for your customers to choose how they purchase. Consider implementing this option to enable your buyers to choose the best currency for them. You may need to confirm with your bank whether this is an option for you.
Look into the different tariffs you may be charged for importing or exporting goods within the EU, you may need to reconsider your charges to customers.
Prepare your processes and technology to ensure it is accessible outside of the UK.
Fulfilment and shipping may be slower due to cross channel trade disruptions and the potential abolishment of VAT. Prepare to introduce software systems to manage and monitor this, in reality this will also be a more efficient solution for your customers.
Focus on the UK market as much as possible. Customers may look towards buying closer to home once Brexit occurs to ensure they don’t obtain those extra charges.
The UK leaving the EU could seriously impact your business, ensure you are prepared for any eventualities if you trade with other companies in the EU. To ensure your current clients stay with you and your business ensure you have the best online platform for this international trade.
If you’d like to discuss this further, please do contact us at Paramount Web Technology – +44 (0) 1883 330835