So, we all thought that Doomsday, sorry, ‘Brexit Day’ had finally approached. Whether you’re a Leaver or Remainer, we can all agree this has dragged on! But with the deadline day being pushed back yet again to January 2020, the uncertainty of what the deal will include (if a deal is ever agreed), and when it will be implemented, there’s little understanding about where this will leave cross-border ecommerce between the UK and the remaining EU countries.
With ecommerce continuing to grow within Europe, its role within the ‘digital single market’ remains pivotal.
The good news is, the UK has been the long-standing leader of the EU ecommerce market, with 86% of the population who have internet access making online purchases. That being in comparison to the lowest EU country, Montenegro, with just 18%. This should hopefully be a good indicator that, at least for now, the EU will continue to look to us to us for guidance.
However, there will still need to be considerations for EU cross-border online sellers and buyers. A few of which are:
Disruption to the free flow of data
We hear about it all the time, ‘Big Data’. But what exactly is going to happen to this free flow of commercially valuable data between Europe and the UK after Brexit?
Much of the UK’s economic activity is dependent on the flow of data with Europe, accounting for 75% of all of the UK’s international data flow.
The UK data regulator has stated that any UK organisations (particularly SMEs) that receive personal data from contacts in the European Economic Area (EEA) will have to take extra steps to ensure their data transfers are lawful.
For more information on how to ensure your company is prepared, take a look at the official guidance published by the Information Commissioner’s Office here.
Adjusting to changing (and unknown) regulations
We all know the main player in the world of ecommerce is Amazon. So, who best to listen to than the top-dog? In order to avoid having to suddenly jump any hurdles put in place after Brexit, they’ve given their retailers a few tips, including:
- Consider placing inventory in warehouses outside of the UK to fulfil EU orders, avoiding any new shipping/export regulations that might pop-up
- Maintain the standard, recommended, minimum of four weeks of inventory coverage at all times
There are positives (believe it or not)…
Considering the UK currently holds many competitive advantages in terms of “e” knowledge and experience in comparison to the rest of Europe, UK e-commerce merchants may well see sales increase as a result of Brexit. Consumers will be looking closer to home for deals in order to avoid potentially hidden import costs.
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