Nearly three years after Brexit was enacted, it is still causing a ripple effect in the e-commerce industry. Unfortunately, these ripples are fueled by rising costs, more complicated procedures and frustration from both online retailers and customers across Europe.
The numbers tell the story. Simply consider these facts about the post-Brexit e-commerce landscape:
- £15 billion in additional expenses for UK-based online retailers in the form of double taxation on returns and customs costs
- Delivery times extended by two, three days or more while the cost of those shipments increased
- New layers of bureaucracy and more than a 10% rise in undelivered parcels
- Total revenue for UK-based online retailers fell by 6%
- Total exports to the EU dropped more than 40%
- More than two-thirds of British online retailers say that Brexit has caused a drop in overall sales and extended delivery times
There’s no doubt that Brexit has created serious challenges for many e-commerce operations but that doesn’t mean that anyone should give up on the European market. It is too big with too much potential to be ignored:
- 300 million of European consumers shop online
- Those customers spent nearly €500 billion online last year
- More than 200 million European customers bought something online from outside their home country
And while you may be waiting for a change in regulations and governments to catch up with e-commerce needs, there are also steps that you can take now to streamline cross-border shipping and open your online business to millions of customers who are eager to buy from you.
What is this secret weapon to combat the issues created by Brexit? A fulfillment partner specialised in international shipping.
What do logistics companies do?
In the context of e-commerce, logistics companies handle everything once the customer has completed the purchasing process on the website. This means picking up the items from a warehouse location, packing and labelling them properly, and then handing them over to a shipping agent or a courier company as quickly as possible, even within a few hours.
This often includes receiving and processing returns, which are a major part of e-commerce. Fulfillment partners may also create and maintain the necessary storage conditions for items with unique requirements, pack items in a customised way that fits with a brand’s user experience, provide retailers with information about shipments and their statuses and much more.
In short, fulfillment partners allow retailers to focus on what they do best — selling — while taking the burden of everything else off their shoulders. This is especially valuable for small and medium-sized online retailers. Maintaining their website, working on their product offering and driving traffic to their store is enough to keep anyone busy — who has time for managing inventory in a warehouse, handling a never-ending stream of orders, packing them properly and all that comes with getting orders into the customers’ hands?
Logistics companies do and that’s why they’re such an integral part of modern e-commerce.
However, they offer more than just the infrastructure needed to make deliveries happen. In addition to performing the services that online retailers are not equipped to do, fulfillment companies offer their expertise in ways that promote your sales efforts.
After all, who better to help you navigate the world of cross-border shipping than the people who do it every day?
That’s how logistics companies like Omnipack can help with customs and tax issues in addition to fulfilling the orders placed in your online store. With our experience and insider knowledge, we advise clients on the best way to organise their operations to ensure the lowest possible costs and fastest possible delivery times.
If you're interested in learning more about fulfillment and how Omnipack can assist you in streamlining your shipping to Europe, reach out to our sales team.Contact us
You can also ask one of our clients, for example We Are Wild, on how we helped them tackle the challenges of Brexit.
The sweet smell of e-commerce success
We Are Wild is a UK-based manufacturer of all-natural cosmetics, particularly deodorants. Like many online retailers, they discovered that successfully connecting with a customer base and enjoying rapid growth quickly creates new issues to deal with. When warehousing, inventory management, packing & sending orders and other issues related to order fulfillment began to divert their attention from their core mission, they knew it was high time to start working with a fulfillment partner.
On top of this, challenges created by Brexit added another layer of complications and problems. Shipping from the UK to customers from continental Europe became increasingly complex, unreliable and costly, both in financial terms and in maintaining good customer relationships.
Since selling across Europe was an essential part of We Are Wild’s plan for growth, they decided to seek an EU-based fulfillment partner that could keep delivery times to a minimum, provide real-time insights into order statuses and help in optimising customs and tax issues.
They found the perfect partner in Omnipack.
Now, after an easy integration and onboarding process, We Are Wild enjoys all the benefits of a reliable, EU-based fulfillment partner:
- Shorter delivery times
- Industry-leading packing accuracy
- No extra customs charges since their inventory is based in the EU
- Same-day dispatch
- Access to a massive European market
- A better overall customer experience
Today, thanks to Omnipack, We Are Wild is not only more responsive and agile when it comes to fulfilling orders, they have more time as a company to focus on customer care, outreach campaigns, product development and all the other factors that push a business forward without the distraction of logistics.
We Are Wild is free to keep developing amazing products without worrying about areas outside of their expertise. They do all the work required to get a customer order and Omnipack takes care of the rest.
Getting started with a fulfillment partner
If you are dealing with your own problems related to shipping to customers in continental Europe or if you’re just starting out and want to avoid them altogether, working with a fulfillment partner might just be the answer.
Getting started is easier than you think. At Omnipack, we have a five-step process that gives you everything you need to turn your order fulfillment needs over to us so you can be free to concentrate on growing your business and creating the kinds of products that customers will love.
The process looks like this:
1. Registration - If you’ve never seen it before, trying to understand this tax framework on your own is a major headache. We will guide you through OSS Registration to optimise your tax liability while keeping you in full compliance with applicable laws.
2. Integration - We connect our database with the digital tools you already use, giving you 24/7 access to managing and tracking your orders & monitoring stock levels. Track orders and have access to the information you need to answer customer questions.
3. Onboarding - Show us exactly how you want your products packaged and presented to customers, down to the last details. We’re happy to help you customise your customer experience and maintain brand consistency across all customer touchpoints.
4. Shipment - We receive your orders and pick, pack and ship everything as quickly as possible before turning them over to delivery specialists. Our locations next to major transport arteries keep delivery times to a minimum.
5. Returns and stock management - Let us handle returns, restore items to inventory when possible and help you deliver a first-rate customer experience so you can concentrate on other aspects of your business.
If you want to learn more about how logistics operations can help you address the challenges that you face, Omnipack will advise you on how to streamline your approach to cross-border shipping.
Start taking the first steps towards gaining access to new markets and the freedom to focus on your business!Contact us