E-commerce sales within the UK and Europe keep growth from strength to strength. They now account for an estimated 12.7% of retail sales within the UK and 7.6% throughout Western Europe. We are still catching up with the US which has 25% of annual retail sales purchases made online. Having refined online sales, it is American internet companies that have provided the tools European retailers are using to expand. Growth in Europe is expected to continue increasing at a 10% to 15% annual rate for the next 5 years.
The eBay and Amazon market places have provided tools for high street retailers to find a wider customer base for their products. Launching an online store now enables smaller retailers to reach not only a UK wide customer base, but to also to reach international potential buyers. The new listing tools in ebay will translate product listings into the local language and currency.
The main export markets for UK retailers are to other European Union Countries such as France and Germany. This is because UK sellers have a level playing field with other countries within the European Union. Any products sold can be delivered throughout member countries without needing formal customs clearance and they do not incur local duty or tax charges. Making it easy for potential international buyers to understand the total cost of any purchases made from suppliers in the UK.
It now easy for sellers to list items for sale with both UK and international delivery options. The main new challenge that established domestic ecommerce sites face, is in finding a reliable and competitive international delivery service for their goods. If a retailers delivery cost is not competitive, then your international sales will not happen. Many UK couriers do not have competitive or reliable international courier services. With large discounts being hard to get from the best branded international couriers without lots of volume, a top tip is to look for online authorised resellers who can pass on their discounts without the need to despatch huge volumes through them. A quick google for sending a parcel to France will show who these online resellers are. Some online despatch services also offer the facility to import sales from ebay and Amazon and then automatically process consignment saving the seller time.
With new technology matching more ecommerce products with potential international buyers every day there has never been a better or easier time for online retailers to expand their sales internationally.