Over half of retailers in the United Kingdom think cross-border trading will become more complex when the country leaves the European Union. However, 44 percent of retailers who sell abroad will continue with their existing cross-border ecommerce operations, while 23 percent plans to invest more in growing their business outside the UK.
Cross-border ecommerce is a very hot topic, as more online retailers are expanding their businesses abroad. Want to be inspired? Or just stay up-to-date? Read our articles about ecommerce companies who went or are planning to go cross-border.
More and more consumers from outside the United Kingdom are using search engines to find online retailers who are based in the UK. In the final quarter of last year the number of people who did this has increased by 23 percent.
German-based company Spreadshirt is moving beyond Europe and focusing on the American market. This step is part of Spreadshirt’s ambition to become a billion dollar business. But thanks to Brexit and the rise of protectionism it will be harder to grow internationally, the company thinks.
Online fashion search platform Fashiola will expand further across Europe. Last year, the Dutch website already expanded its presence from five to fifteen countries, but this year the company wants to launch in ten extra countries.
Maternia, the biggest contact lens retailer in the Czech Republic, has expanded its online reach in Europe. The company opened its online store in Belgium, which is now the 15th country in Europe where Maternia is active.
French sporting goods retailer Decathlon have launched a dedicated ecommerce website in Switzerland. Just a few days before Christmas, consumers in Switzerland can now order cheap sports clothing and accessories online.
Consumers in Europe are still not able to shop online in the European Union without being discriminated against because of their nationality. Online stores across the continent keep refusing customers from other countries, charging higher prices to foreign customers or creating virtual boundaries in some other way.
French is the most popular language into which English-language ecommerce website are translated. This is followed by German and, quite surprising, Dutch. The language that’s spoken in the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium is more popular than Italian or Spanish.
Gourmondo, a German online distributor of unusual foods, is expanding in Europe. After launching in Germany and the Netherlands, the ecommerce website is now also available in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Austria. Consumers from these countries can now also buy wines and specialty foods online.
Sometimes it looks like cross-border ecommerce is an easy task. Just look at the success of global market places such as Amazon and eBay or the international expansion of European players like Asos or Zalando. However, it requires a lot of research, adaptation, flexibility and understanding of the new market to be successful.