UK retailers must seize cross-border opportunity to succeed in a post-Brexit world, says PayPal

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Although Brexit anxiety has led to a slowdown in consumer spending, some see a bright future for British retailers, after a report released by Paypal has placed UK retailers at the top of the list of countries that foreign buyers purchase goods from online.

According to the report, Britain’s eCommerce companies top the European league table for international trade. The report also highlights that one in seven shoppers in over 30 global markets have purchased from a British online retailer in the past year, compared to one in 10 who bought from Germany, which is second in the league table.

The USA and China were the top two online export countries for UK retailers, providing some comfort to British retailers ahead of Brexit.

However, according to Andy Burton, CEO of ecommerce solution provider Tryzens, although seeing British retailers at the top of the league table is fantastic news, only retailers with highly optimised, mobile-focused, and localised online stores should hope to reap the benefits.

Commenting on the report, Burton said: “Strong competition in the UK has driven retailers to look overseas to develop their businesses and it’s clear that many have been successful in these efforts. Brand Britain is alive and well, and while Brexit is casting some uncertainty over our native market, this report confirms that there is appetite around the world for what our retail sector has to offer. However, it is crucial that retailers don’t become complacent as they still need to up their eCommerce game if they are to capitalise on the cross-border opportunity.

According to Burton, It’s not just about local currency, payment options and language; retailers also need to think about marketing outreach, customer service and delivery services that maintain a loyal customer base. The key is to focus on their core markets with a strategy that can expand and fit the operational capability of retailers’ business and expand over time as sales increase in any specific market.

The British retail community were early adopters within the EU when it came to eCommerce, and this has paid off. To remain on top, retailers need to stay innovative before other markets bite into their market share. They need to be making informed decisions around personalisation, mobile engagement and real-time analytics which are all valid examples that are crucial to maintaining their new top position. Data driven digital commerce strategies mean retailers can constantly assess trading performance, respond to changes in a timely manner and enhance the overall journey with the brand.

“The UK is a ‘tech-savvy nation of retailers’ and we can continue to play to our strengths to lead in the global market that many British brands now serve because of the power of eCommerce. There has never been a better time for investment in digital commerce to drive growth and protect the business from the challenges of any potential storms on the horizon.”

– Andy Burton, CEO, Tryzens


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