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GUEST COMMENT How a taste for new international markets could be the way forward for retailers

Ian Moore, founder of Excellent Zephyr

In the face of a cost-of-living crisis and unprecedented financial challenges, eCommerce retailers need to streamline operations and make decisions with agility and speed to stay ahead. Key to survival this year is having the ability to jump on emerging consumer trends and habits, with the right infrastructure in place to do so effectively, and before anyone else. These are the key ingredients for efficient growth in 2023 and beyond, writes Ian Moore, founder of Excellent Zephyr.

Appetite for new international markets

One trend that came out of Black Friday 2022 presents a particularly interesting business growth opportunity; according to Shopfiy, 15% of all global orders were cross-border between the UK, US and Canada. 

recent study showed that almost half of British consumers claim they shop online outside of their domestic market because it is cheaper than shopping locally, with the US revealed as the most popular market to shop from. In the face of a looming recession, it’s not surprising that shoppers are driven by affordability – the research findings show that this is the main driver for shopping internationally, shortly followed by a brand having a wide variety of products and offering low shipping costs. 

Jumping on the new cross-border bandwagon

With widespread reports that UK-EU goods trading has taken a real hit in recent years, with many pointing the finger at Brexit, retailers should take advantage of the growing appetite amongst UK consumers for exploring new international markets. According to the British Chambers of Commerce, more than half (56 per cent) of its membership companies have faced difficulties adapting to the new trading rules since the Brexit trade deal at the end of 2020, so a taste for new markets will be music to the ears of many businesses struggling to successfully trade with the EU. 

Meeting the challenge head on

With these challenges and changes in mind, UK retailers should take the time to investigate and readdress their trading options. They would do well to expand product portfolios into new overseas markets that have a less affected economy, for example North America. In order to meet this challenge head on, however, they will need to have real-time visibility across their entire operation, accessible from anywhere, at any time.  

Technology holds the key

Adapting to keep buoyant in a difficult economy, and taking advantage of new consumer shopping habits and demands can’t be done without the aid of technology. Just as technology has been vital over the last few years in empowering businesses to pivot during the pandemic, over the next year, we’re sure to see a shift to businesses leveraging technology once again to adapt to changing consumer habits.

Integrating an end-to-end solution will be essential for success this year and beyond. This will allow businesses to scale and change up their operations so they can navigate new markets quickly and with minimal risk. A 360-degree view of their business, all in one place, holds the key to success. 


Ian Moore is founder of Excellent Zephyr

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