How Has Brexit Affected UK Independent Retailers?

Written by Harry Bray

January 26, 2021

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 4 years, you will have heard of Brexit. It has been a painfully long time, full of bureaucracy, since 52% of the British public voted to leave the EU back in June 2016. Whether you support it or not, it has become a reality since the UK’s official departure on the 1st January 2021.

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“Up to 61% of British Businesses hadn’t made any preparations for leaving the EU.”

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The introduction of post-Brexit regulations, customs and duties has proven a nightmare for eCommerce retailers so far. Imports, exports and general logistics have become increasingly complicated and expensive, particularly for smaller independent eCommerce retailers who are struggling to get to grips with the changes.

With most retailers left in the dark, January has been a steep learning curve on what Brexit means for their retail business. We’re going to take a look at what post-Brexit Britain looks like and how you can achieve retail success!

Post-Brexit and EU Relations

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Shipping is, to put it bluntly, very bloody slow! As to have been expected, supply chains have reacted similarly to dunking your head into an ice bath… a bit of a shock. Lengthy, complicated logistics have created (rightly so) frustration amongst retailers and their customers.

Independent businesses such as fashion retailers, wine merchants and grocers who would usually import their goods from Europe have been left with little or no stock, which has inevitably affected their sales figures.

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“Customers will refrain from buying internationally if additional costs apply after checkout.”

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Additionally, extra taxes now mean that prospective EU customers are more likely to purchase from a foreign EU based competitor. This results in UK eCommerce retailers, who want to sell their products abroad, having to rethink their international business model. However, on the flip side, these new regulations have continued to fuel the growth and desire to shop locally!

What Can Independent Retailers Do?

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First of all, make sure you’re up to date with the UK Government’s guidelines! Secondly, with Excellent Zephyr’s Independent and Enterprise solutions, you can unify all of your retail operations alongside ShipStation and Avalara.

ShipStation makes shipping your products fast, easy and affordable. It ensures that you get the quickest delivery times at the lowest rates when selling in the UK and abroad. Using the ShipStation app, your customers will be at ease tracking their order and completing returns with the seamless self-service portal.

One of the biggest worries amongst UK eCommerce retailers is the new tax regulations. With Excellent Zephyr’s Avalara integration, you can automatically calculate tax obligations straight from your online store depending on your desired geographical location. Risk-free and efficient tax compliance that makes international selling clear and straightforward.

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