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Selling around the world - tips from the experts

Posted on 27th April, 2017

While politicians argue about trade agreements as well as boundaries, in the post-Brexit world individual online retailers who sell overseas are simply carrying on as normal.  For the time being.

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Some may already have found that they are experiencing a boost in sales overseas as a result of the weaker pound which should help them cope with additional costs. Their prices may well be much cheaper now compared to overseas rivals.

But they need to be careful when hedging their currency bets; or maybe they can increase their profitability by raising their international prices if that helps them more.

What’s uncertain at the moment is the level of future EU controls over sales to EU countries, which will disadvantage them.

On the other hand, what’s certain is that online sales are continuing to grow, in Europe and the USA. According to the Centre for Retail Research, the growth of online sales at the current rate will inevitably reduce the market for traditional shops. In Europe, online sales for the 2015-2017 period are expected to grow by +32.0%, but All Retail Sales by only 3.4% in the same period.

By the time that online sales represent 5% or more of domestic retailing then the continued growth of online retailers is likely to come largely at the expense of conventional stores. In Europe as a whole, online retailers in 2017 alone are expected to grow by 14.2% in a fairly stagnant retail market (growing by 1.4% average), says the CRR.

So the future looks promising, but what do online retailers here in the UK need to be aware of over the next few months – and years – of political uncertainty?

Here at SYPO we have our top five tips:

  1. Make sure you have the best system in place for processing payments, and one which will deal happily with non-UK cards and cardholder addresses. Braintree accept and process payments to help maximise business and revenue growth, coupled with the scale, backing, and confidence of the PayPal network.

  2. Sending the goods: There is a huge variation in costs and the service levels provided by fulfilment companies. Shop around for the best deal.

  3. Consider who will pay taxes and how they operate alongside delivery costs. It’s usually – but not always – the receiver.

  4. Watch your language: don’t assume that everyone has colloquial English. Remember when HSBC had to scrap a big marketing campaign using the motto “Assume Nothing”. In many countries this translated as “Do Nothing”. The error cost them millions.

  5. When in doubt, talk to the experts. We’re here to help, we know how it works, and we have all the expertise to integrate everything for your specific brand and your website.