March 2, 2017
The U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union has already affected e-commerce in the country, but the overall impact of Brexit has been close to neutral so far, according to a new report. Nearly one third of UK e-commerce retailers reported their international sales have risen since the vote more than eight months ago to leave the EU, the report from cross-border solution provider Global-e noted. The company attributes the rise to a weaker British pound since the vote. Domestically, 21 percent of UK retailers said their e-commerce sales increased since June, 30 percent reported a decrease and 47 percent said there has been no impact at all. The biggest changes are yet to come, the report said, with more than 30 percent of retailers polled indicating they haven’t even started planning for post-Brexit conditions.
“As the Brexit bill moves through Parliament, retailers are facing up to the reality of what Britain’s exit from the EU might mean,” said Nir Debbi, co-founder and CMO at Global-e. “Although some retailers have revised their plans, our research suggests that many are taking a wait-and-see approach, before considering whether to change course. In the months since the EU referendum took place, most retailers have already felt some impact, with many of those that operate internationally seeing an increase in sales from online shoppers worldwide due to the weakened pound and growing trend for cross-border e-commerce.”
More than half of the retailers that took the survey (51 percent) expect selling cross-border to become more complex when the UK officially cuts ties with the EU. Sixty-three percent predict that consumers will pay more for goods across the board. Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the study found 44 percent of online retailers currently selling internationally plan on continuing their operations as they are now and 23 percent are planning to increase their activity outside the UK.
Cross-Border E-Commerce in Established Markets