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Warehouse Management Blog

Our team of Fulfilment Consultants share warehouse management best practice and advice.

Blighty gets ahead in global eCommerce

WRITTEN BY Jonathan Bellwood /

23 February 2015

 I say, what do you make of this? The land of tea and polite queuing reigns supreme for global eCommerce. That’s right, while them there Yanks still sell more online, us Brits are making produce that is far more popular among international tradersthan any other nation. Spiffing!

According to SME Insider, UK online retailers sell goods worth almost £1.2 billion to the US every year, dwarfing the less than $1 million worth of goods they sell to us. So what does this mean? Well, load HMS Victory with Cadbury chocolate and John Lewis cardigans because Britain is going global.

While we do appear to be succeeding with international trade, it is still a vastly under-appreciated market that has so much more to offer. We reckon that global eCommerce is going to take off this year but it does require a great deal of consideration to expand internationally, and a lot of retailers don’t seem convinced by the potential return on investment.

The major hurdle when crossing the border is culture. Standard procedure in one country is, well, foreign to other countries. From website design, to payment options, to delivery, different countries have different preferences and for the most part it isn’t a simple case of just making those options available. 

Let’s take payment options for example. Here in the UK, we’re big fans of PayPal and Credit Cards. Russia and Poland, on the other hand, are big fans of cash on delivery. In the Netherlands, 65% of online consumers prefer to pay using iDEAL which allows them to make a transfer directly from their bank. While it is possible for online stores based outside the Netherlands to support iDEAL banking, since UK-based consumers don’t use the system it isn’t considered worthwhile. That said, a tenth of retailers claim that international transactions make up almost 50% of their sales.

So it’s looking like high-time we really start gearing up for global eCommerce because there are a huge number of sales across that big blue puddle. If Britain wants to stay ahead of the game we have to innovate and that means catering much more towards international consumers.

To read more about how to prepare for international trade, check out our review of the 3PLs panel session at the MetaPack Delivery Conference 2015.

Before you can think about going global, you have to make sure your back-end processes are in order. To see how Peoplevox can improve your warehouse management, download our eBook today.

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