A recent report by parcel giant UPS says that nearly three-quarters of people in Europe who buy online, regularly do so from companies or individuals in a different country to their own. This continues a trend of increasing confidence in eCommerce generally which is showing benefits to more and more small businesses.
While eCommerce behemoths like Amazon and eBay obviously profit most from growing confidence in the shipping of products bought online, they do not cater to everyone all the time. Small, niche European suppliers can be optimistic that they are likely to be able to reach markets further afield more often in the future.
While the United Kingdom and the European Union continue to negotiate what kind of trans national tariffs may or may not apply post-Brexit, independent senders are finding confidence in the ability of parcel delivery companies to satisfy their customers at reasonable cost.
Buying goods from another European country from within the continent is becoming more of a normal thing to consider. This cuts out the impersonal, corporate customer experience of ordering from the global giants while offering confidence in important areas such as ease of returns.
The fact is that European countries sell the same brand goods at different prices. If there is a different currency involved, this difference can be quite substantial. Cross-border trade between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is a clear example of this; but secure parcel shipping across European borders is, in fact, a more valuable, if less visible, part of the same process.
While cost is always going to be the most important factor driving eCommerce, other considerations have been cited by European e-buyers. It is up to parcel delivery companies to step up and offer the kind of reassurance that cross-border shoppers appreciate.
As well as the security of payment method, customers value up front quotation of all costs in the actual currency being tendered, and a robust, easy to follow returns policy. This kind of customer service by European shippers should already be a given and looks like bringing even better rewards.