Europe offers a host of possibilities for US eCommerce companies looking to expand.
The diverse markets, developed infrastructure, affluent customers, economic growth, and educated talent pool are just some of the many pull factors that could beckon eCommerce retailers across the Atlantic.
Additionally, while your product or brand might be competing with a saturated market in the US, you could be offering something that is seeing significant demand in Europe, opening up major opportunities. Sounds terrific, right?
Of course, with so many different countries to consider both inside and outside of the EU, each bringing their own market needs and stipulations, making the expansion a viable one will take substantial work and effort.
To help you steer the growth of your business into the European market, we have broken down some of the most important trends you will need to be aware of to make your venture a success.
1. Market diversity
Although Europe differs most notably from America because of its borders, many mitigating factors can make this geographical reality an enticing business benefit. Of the 44 countries in Europe, 27 belong to the European Union, allowing for the free movement of goods.
In addition, Europe also boasts having 15 of the top 25 GDPs per capita in the world. The countries that do not rank as highly have significant emerging potential, with Romania, for example, having an average wage increase from 390 Romanian Leu in 2007 to 2300 in 2021.
2. Now is the time to be online
73% of internet users in the EU shopped online in 2020. As a result, European eCommerce revenues are said to have jumped by 30% in 2021.
This shift towards online shopping may have been amplified by the pandemic, but was on a strong upward trajectory even before 2020, indicating that there is a likelihood of sustained opportunity for eCommerce in Europe.
3. Need new talent?
Have you ever considered that the perfect person for your new company vacancy could be in Helsinki or Lisbon or London? The rise of remote working across the world has opened up more opportunities than ever before that could solve existing talent shortages within your business, while also playing a crucial role in driving your European expansion.
4. Taxes and laws
Here’s the bit most of us dread: the fine print attached to all business ventures that involve the ins and outs of taxes and laws. The good news is that if European eCommerce businesses can navigate this seemingly daunting subject, then so can you!
One important tax to know about in the EU is Value Added Tax, known as V.A.T. This is a general tax that applies to all commercial activities involving the production and distribution of goods and the provision of services.
In terms of EU laws, GDPR is a big player to be aware of. It is Europe’s most important privacy law and differs substantially from its US counterpart. Before carrying out your activities in Europe, you will need to do ample research on the topic to ensure your business operations fall in line with GDPR legislation.
Europe is not a one-size-fits-all market, where a single marketing strategy or website will resonate with each and every one of your potential customers.
The most obvious differentiator to take into account is the sheer volume of languages in use, with 24 official languages spoken in the EU alone. Although approximately 30% of the population speak English, Mastercard research indicates that three in four shoppers in Europe are now more likely to shop in their local communities than they were before the pandemic.
This evolution in buyer behaviour means that you could be out of the running with your potential new customers by not providing them with a localized experience.
6. Customer experience
The customer journey will begin with your marketing touchpoints and flourish through the customer experience you offer them. The most vital element to customer experience will be the logistics of getting your products delivered to their door.
ParcelPlanet is a trusted, full-service order fulfilment partner based in Ireland. One of the best things about using ParcelPlanet for new entrants into the European market is that we provide our clients with the ability to scale up quickly as you grow, using our established infrastructure, as well as helping you to navigate any customs issues you may face.
Tap into our warehouse storage facilities in Ireland and the UK, our network of couriers across Europe, and our experienced customer service team to seamlessly expand into your new market.
Talk to us today to discuss your European expansion plans.