The benefit online businesses have over the traditional offline store is the potential for global reach and the speed at which they can achieve it. While a physical store can only provide those within the area, online retailers can grab a world of opportunity in their hands within a matter of minutes.
E-Commerce in Europe
Online retail is constantly growing, and this growth has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. The UK, Germany, and France are some of the most valuable online markets in the world, making them hugely desirable options for businesses looking to expand. Here are a few statistics about online retail within these countries:
- The UK has the most advanced e-commerce market in the whole of Europe
- France, Germany, and the UK made up around 4% of Europe’s E-Commerce in 2020
- Germany is the fifth largest e-commerce market in the world
While these impressive stats give businesses plenty of reason to attempt to expand into Europe, it’s vital that brands looking for global domination don’t underestimate the number of challenges to overcome along the way.
The Barriers for European Expansion
Of course, the major barrier to taking on global clientele is shipping. Shipping within the same country can have its challenges, never mind when having to manage a number of delivery processes, costs, and delays across continents. Some global retailers require their customers to wait weeks for delivery, which can make Amazon that all more appealing…
Global shipping can often rake up product prices to account for import duty and delivery fees which is less than ideal for both the customer and the merchant.
However, while online growth is expected to continue at a rapid pace, businesses in the US or Australia could hugely benefit from expanding their horizons to include the European shopper. As long as they can find a way to keep their product costs attractive, shipping fees low, and delivery times brief. Easier said than done.
US and Australian businesses with global aspirations should look to choose the UK as their first expansion country. The UK’s booming market, paired with the incredible IT infrastructure, makes it the perfect country to start with. The process can be made much easier by establishing an eCommerce fulfillment center in the UK itself and working with specialists to optimize the business from inside the country. By fulfilling orders in the country, customers can reap the benefits of the US brand while still enjoying next-day delivery. Pricing for each product can stay the same in the US market, with mass delivery to the fulfillment center accounted for.
Britain and mainland Europe typically have fast delivery between the two – meaning your UK fulfillment center can work as a base for the whole continent, as well. Shipping can be managed at a fraction of the cost, without the need for additional duty or tax to be paid at the end of the line.
Using a specialist logistics team in the country can allow businesses from across the pond to capitalize on the huge opportunities afforded by Europe. By moving fulfillment to the continent, businesses can enjoy economic growth while customers can connect with their favorite brands nearer to home.