Analysts are clear that turnover growth in UK ecommerce is stabilising as our market matures. The online retail industry is expected to grow by 10.5% this year to reach €173.7 billion (£149 billion). Last year, the British ecommerce industry increased by 11% to €157 billion (£144.74 billion), according to the Ecommerce Foundation. No wonder British companies are looking to Europe, China, and the US to make commercial headway and secure a profitable future.
One news story this week covers a McKinsey calculation that the parcel delivery markets in Germany and the US are both set to double by 2025, to support digital shopping. Meanwhile it’s impossible to ignore the immense Chinese ecommerce market which has become the largest in the world and is projected to total $1.6 trillion (£1.23 trillion) in 2018. British businesses are making excellent progress in new territories, but there are big challenges with logistics, cross border bureaucracy, and of course Brexit on the horizon. Entering new markets is also all about learning, in order to overcome local challenges, cultural differences and anomalies.
I discovered recently that in France couriers don’t leave parcels with a neighbour because the French simply don’t like doing that – it’s rude to ask, and not safe anyway, was the explanation I was given. In Germany returns are a massive issue because consumers can order and try as many goods as they like, and need only make a payment once they have made a final selection. Examples like these confirm that fitting your existing delivery and returns services around different country requirements isn’t easy.
Learning from others will be key here, and this is where industry conferences and networking events can prove so powerful. Our eDelivery Conference on 11th October is shaping up to be an ideal forum to learn from the experts, be inspired by the pioneers, and plug dangerous knowledge gaps, if you’re thinking of entering new markets. A programme of roundtables will be tackling some really pertinent issues from how to attract supply chain talent, to how to set up your fulfilment and delivery abroad. Healthy international sales will be a wonderful prize, but make sure you learn all you can in the early stages, to avoid costly mistakes.
Last chance to take part in our Packaging Survey
There are just a few days left for you to complete our Packaging Survey, being run in partnership with Smurfit Kappa, and be in with the chance of winning an Apple Watch. So please take five minutes to share your views on current trends in ecommerce packaging. Find the survey here.
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