How European online retailers are adapting their ecommerce sales model for the UK

With many European online retailers experiencing a significant drop in their UK ecommerce sales, they have changed tack to access Europe’s top online market.


Why are EU online retailers losing UK ecommerce sales'

The withdrawal of the UK from the EU has resulted in new regulations, customs, and import duties, for online retailers selling from Europe into the UK. According to Internet Retailing, UK online shoppers have purchased far fewer items from European websites in recent years, as EU customs and border concerns grew. 51% of UK consumers cited delivery costs as a significant turn off for international shopping and 38% for both customs charges and returns issues, highlighting the increased barriers created by Brexit.


There are several issues which have impacted on EU online retailers selling into the UK since the withdrawal from the European Union.

  • Credit card fee cap is no longer applicable on sales to the UK from online retailers within the EU. Which means the cost of doing business for sellers to the UK market can carry more expensive card fees per transaction.
  • Goods shipped to the UK from EU countries now have to go through the customs clearance process - as the VAT exemption rule on items under £15 (or €22) is no longer valid.
  • Shippers have increased their rates into the UK from the EU to cover additional handling fees, to ensure the goods have customs clearance and for vat recovery, if they have had to pay the duty.

Not adapting an online strategy for the UK market is impacting on EU online sales

  • 31% of UK consumers shopped internationally in 2021, down 14% in just a year, and the EU sites are baring the brunt. *
  • 34% of UK consumers have stopped buying from EU-based retailers.**
  • 24% of younger consumers aged 16-24 cited the increase in costs and delays as a reason why they stopped shopping from European-based brands.**

* According to Internet Retailing  Links to

**According to Eskenzi survey  Links to


Why the UK online market is attractive to European online retailers'

The United Kingdom is the worlds third or fourth largest market for ecommerce, depending on which source or metric is quoted. The Worlds top market for ecommerce is China, followed by the USA, then by Japan or the UK. However, the UK is clearly the largest online market in Europe, with nearly 60 million ecommerce users, and an estimated 93% of the UK population shopping for products or services online in 2021, according to Ecommerce Europe.



How Spatial Global helps European online retailers sell into the UK

Consumers have come to expect a fast, hassle free service with low cost delivery and an easy returns process as standard. With many shippers now charging additional administration fees and demanding duty be paid on delivery – a cost often not obviously factored into the buyers online purchase decision – many European online retailers have changed how they sell into the UK.



How European online retailers can get faster, lower cost delivery to reach UK online customers

Partnered with a UK ecommerce fulfillment house, like Spatial Global, they can import the goods into the UK in bulk via road or air freight. They can cross-dock any B2B sales and warehouse their online sales inventory on shore. This means UK online sales orders are picked and packed, then distributed directly into the domestic postal system. Because the goods have duty paid, the customer experiences the hassle free experience they had pre-Brexit.

  • Smarter customs clearance – bulk import with duty paid pre-ecommerce sale, so the customer doesn’t get presented with any unexpected additional costs.
  • Smarter sales and stock management - with 'ready to deploy' integration between your ecommerce platform (Shopify; Trade Gecko; Lift Off; WooCommerce; CS-Cart; EKM) and our warehouse management system, the on-boarding process is streamlined. Our stock inventory management system will keep you informed and agile.
  • Smarter Amazon fulfilment - keeping your inventory in alignment with projected sales Amazon raise stock replenishment orders delivering into the specific Amazon warehouse – whilst your stock remains in a centralised inventory.
  • Smarter delivery solutions – with UK stored goods, online sales can be picked, packed and distributed directly via the most efficient domestic mail systems.
  • Smarter returns management – less administrative headaches, optimised returns processes and lower cost to return goods to a UK address.


Are you EU based, selling goods into the UK and need help with ecommerce fulfillment'


Spatial Global are specialists in import and can help you take the pain out of your ecommerce fulfillment. You can export direct to our bonded storage or warehouse network. We can help you optmise distributing goods to consumers within the UK domestic mail system as well as across the world. This is because we distribute thousands of packages a day – it means you can tap into our experience as well as our economies of scale.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you

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