How Will Brexit Affect International B2B eCommerce?
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The last few days have been absolute chaos for business owners, as well as the general public. The historic vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union has completely split the country, with David Cameron resigning, Nicola Sturgeon looking for a way to gain Scottish Independence once again and Corbyn's lacklustre defence of the Remain campaign triggering a coup in the Labour Party.
Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson may have finally got their Independence Day, but where does that leave the thousands of business owners in the UK? B2B eCommerce can be a fragile thing at the best of times, but in the chaos of this vote, it's no surprise to see business owners panicking.
It isn't unfair to say that the UK is chaotic at the minute. Just a few days after the referendum, the pound has tumbled to its lowest rates in more than 20 year, risen again, tumbled again and is only now starting to settle. The markets and currency exchange rates are continuing to react erratically and the future is extremely uncertain.
Whether you voted Leave, Remain or didn't vote at all, you need to know that the market is a very different place from where it was just a few years ago. UK businesses are no longer as valuable to those in the European Union and, with the Pound fluctuating; they are unlikely to be as comfortable trading internationally as they were before.
The vote to Leave has left the UK with a range of new issues to deal with, which will definitely have an effect on your B2B eCommerce business.
The UK has always been at the forefront of eCommerce in Europe. Even back in 2013, our small island accounted for approximately 32% of all European eCommerce sales. We are also at the forefront of mobile commerce, with sales growing in that same year by 138% on the previous year. Today, Great Britain still remains the largest and most lucrative online retail nation in Europe; for example, mobile sales now amount of more than $28 billion.
As the 3rd strongest eCommerce market in the world, currently worth around $99 billion (and projected to reach £132 billion by 2018) it is clear that the UK will remain a powerhouse when it comes to national eCommerce, but what will the effect on international eCommerce be?
The uncertainty around the UK's exit will have an effect on customer trust, particularly on an international scale. With the Pound falling, international customers may use this opportunity to get great deals on materials and products before the UK is no longer bound by EU legislation regarding product quality.
B2B customers are on the lookout for the best deals, and although this period of uncertainty could provide immediate advantages, when Brexit actually occurs it is likely that many retailers will look elsewhere to avoid stringent import and export costs.
The long term effects of a post-EU Britain could cost much more than the amount of money the UK sent to Brussels. In the recent report ' Should We Stay or Should We Go?' it was claimed that this lowered trade could reduce the UK GDP by between 1.1% and 3.1% in a short period of time. However, in the long-term, it could see a loss of 9.5% GDP.
The costs for all kinds of international B2B and even B2C trade could increase as a result of:
Currently a hot topic amongst any and all eCommerce experts is the state of the European Commission's Digital Single Market Strategy. This was a proposed policy with the overall goal of enabling the EU's single market freedoms to make the transition to the digital world. When it comes to online retail, the EU hoped to tear down any existing barriers to ensure that citizens and businesses could all benefit from an increased range of goods and services, from all over Europe. Turning 28 national markets into a single digital one - friendly for both B2C and B2B eCommerce - had the potential to generate thousands of new jobs, and contribute an incredible €415 billion to the EU's economy.
The strategy was composed of three unique policies, involving:
Now that we have voted to leave the European Union, it is unclear (although unlikely) that the UK will be allowed to take part in the digital single market. This means that the strategy could make online retail easier than ever and Britain, the continent's leading eCommerce provider, could miss out.
Today, more than ever, you need to make sure that your company can provide a truly unique, trustworthy and reliable online platform. If you still hope to trade internationally, you need to make sure that your products are the very best they can be, your brand identity is trustworthy and your service is exemplary. With the likelihood of tariffs and trade restrictions, you need to overcome Brexit and give buyers and decision-makers a reason to continue shopping with you, rather than find a more local company to do business with.
Our team are proud to say that we have worked on some of the biggest and best B2B eCommerce websites in the world, and have helped our clients to grow from strength to strength. Whatever kind of B2B website you are looking for, you can be sure that our bespoke development platform, Razor, is the perfect solution for you.
The Razor eCommerce platform has been designed to create industry-leading websites, with a focus on bespoke design. Using this solution, we can give you the ability to control every aspect of your online presence from a single, useable interface. Just some of the great features that our eCommerce platform can provide include:
If you hope to remain competitive for international B2B eCommerce, you need to make sure that you are giving your buyers a real reason to stick with you. Your online presence could be the key between your customers sticking with you through thick and thin and looking for a new provider.
Leaving the EU could seriously impact your business, especially if your business trades with other companies in Europe. If you hope to offer your clients a real reason to stay with your B2B business, then you need to make sure that your online platform gives them a reason to stay.
Choose Advansys' unique Razor platform today, to protect your business and keep your buyers, as well as encourage more national sales, customer clicks and valuable conversions. For more information, don't hesitate to get in touch with our eCommerce experts today on 0845 838 2700.