Insight on Crafting an e-Commerce Strategy for EuropeSeptember 16, 2015
Anna Flaaten is a Senior International Trade Specialists at the International Trade Administration’s Export Assistance Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Earlier this week, ITA hosted a webinar to gain insight on crafting an e-commerce strategy for Europe. Participants included experts in the fields of supply chain management, payment services, search engine optimization, and direct on-line marketing. Here are a few takeaways on the unique aspects of e-commerce in Europe:
- The UK is the largest e-Commerce market for US goods and services.
- The e-Commerce market in the EU is worth $472B USD – relatively split equally between goods and service exports.
- Smaller countries import more than larger markets! For example 88% of Nordics shopped online last year.
- Service providers in the logistic space that will know how to set up distribution in Europe.
- Direct online marketing is easiest to start by creating a Google-friendly site
- Using analytics and Search Engine Optimization is critical- with “search” it’s about telling you that the potential customer is already interested in your product.
- Many countries also have their own search engines that are popular in those markets.
- It’s helpful to translate keyword searches in languages for the markets your company wants to target – for example, if you’re targeting France, translate the keywords into French.
- Credit cards are still the most popular payment alternative in both Europe and the US by a market share of approximately 40%; however, payment methods vary greatly between countries in the EU and offering multiple payment methods is helpful.
- One of the most common reasons people drop out of the checkout process if they can’t find their preferred payment method- not localizing payment methods can result in the loss up to 50% of potential sales.
- Regarding logistics, how e-Commerce works in the EU is very different than the US as parcel rates vary by country or even within a country
- Varying shipping rates can be challenging for international pricing – use “mixed set up” meaning using one supply chain company for certain countries and a different one for other.
- Non-EU countries like Norway and Switzerland have different customs documentation requirements.
- Set up distribution where there’s the shortest lead time to consumers.
- Although duties are uniform across the EU members, VAT taxes vary by country.
A special thanks to our speakers:
- Jan Paul Olijslager, Sr. Manager Supply Chain Solutions, Holland International Distribution Council (HIDC)
- Andreas Thim, U.S. Director, Klarna
- Justin Seibert, President, Direct On-line Marketing
- Commercial Specialist Heming Bjona
We will continue this discussion at our upcoming DGM e-Commerce Seminar October 8-9 in Dallas/Ft.Worth, Texas. You don’t want to miss it!