How to Expand Your E-Commerce Business in Europe

Europe is one of the largest e-commerce marketplaces in the world, along with China and the US. Not only that, the e-commerce market in Europe is expected to reach £400 billion by 2023, so it’s easy to see why many e-commerce businesses are looking to enter the European market. According to the general trend, e-commerce businesses that sell consumer electronics, apparel, accessories, home goods, cosmetics, and footwear are the ones that produce the majority of online sales in Europe. 

While major international e-commerce players, like China’s Alibaba or the US behemoths Amazon and eBay, are unavoidable when discussing e-commerce in Europe, it is a big market with plenty of room and opportunities for every new e-commerce business that wishes to enter the European market. 

Identifying a Target Demographic

Selling online internationally may be a huge objective. This is because not every merchant will be present in every nation. Therefore, it’s beneficial if you conduct your study. Determine the specific places where your brand and products will succeed. Study international markets as well. Before selecting whether you want to take your brand there, you should do this to get to know its target market and demographics.

Don’t only look at the numbers or make rash conclusions. Make a decision on whether your target market is viable in generating profits over the long term after researching the items you believe to be popular with them.

It will be easier for you to decide which European markets make the most sense to enter if you have an understanding of the demographics in various European nations and areas. You may utilize various tools and websites to assist gain a greater understanding of the demographics in particular locations and countries, such as, which provides a complete description of the demographics in Europe.

Know What Sells

Because of its size, Europe is an area with various cultures. This implies that specific goods and patterns could be more well-liked in some nations than others. It’s safe to predict that British people won’t likely buy a baseball-themed t-shirt, and Italians will probably not be interested in a hat with an Alabama-shaped pattern.

You can find it challenging to increase sales if your brand is based on a region, team, or social movement that isn’t well-liked in Europe. Having said that, you must carefully consider which of your current items would appeal to European consumers. To market to clients on the other side of the world, you might need to develop new items or modify old ones. You should also be aware that due to varying economic levels, not all of Europe’s nations have the same purchasing power.

Reaching Europe

Currently, you can build a store on an online marketplace that permits simple extension onto a local version of the platform, or you can improve your current store to be more international to grow your business in Europe

Open a business on an online marketplace like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay if you’re seeking the simplest approach to attract European customers. These websites receive regular traffic from customers who have presumably already made a purchase from this marketplace, are confident in the vendors, and are familiar with the procedure for making a purchase. But there are also disadvantages to selling on marketplaces. If you currently operate an online business, managing two stores are required if you launch a store on a marketplace.

Be Smart About Your Marketing

Even when you sell items with distinctive designs, many other merchants could also have something extremely similar in store. You must consider other factors besides captivating product descriptions and eye-catching product photos. This means setting up targeted Facebook advertisements, launching your email marketing efforts, and optimizing your store for search engines. However, use caution in all of your marketing efforts. Strategic planning is necessary to ensure that your efforts won’t be in vain when you enter a new market. Therefore, consider linguistic variety, cultural diversity, and wealth levels. 

Additionally, you must be aware of significant e-commerce holidays concerning European customers. Additionally, while planning promotions, keep in mind that Europe is on the other side of the globe, making it essential to consider different time zones.

Respect Cultural Differences

It might be challenging to comprehend how cultural variations affect people’s requirements, pain areas, and purchasing behaviours. Does a certain nation’s population require your product? You must research and create a marketing strategy that will appeal to clients worldwide. Additionally, not all items are seen as appropriate in all cultures or legal in all nations. You may choose the things you should sell to European clients more wisely if you take the time to examine comparable products marketed elsewhere and other market trends.

What is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

The personal data of EU citizens are safeguarded by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a data privacy regulation in the EU. The European Union’s GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, went into force in May 2018. It safeguards the personal information of EU citizens, affecting all companies based in or having connections to the EU.

So, why does it matter to you? Because you do not need to reside in the EU to be subject to this rule. You must be aware of the GDPR if your US-based company has clients in the EU. These laws are among the strongest in the world regarding privacy, and the consequences are severe. Businesses that violate the rules risk fines of up to €20 million or 4% of their worldwide sales, whichever is greater.

Because they are the strongest privacy laws in the world, following them assures your consumers that their data is secure. If your consumers can see that you value their privacy, it will help you gain their confidence.

Legal Considerations

The kinds of goods that can be imported from other nations are often restricted. Even one element in your product might decide the outcome. However, just because your goods may ship to a nation legally does not guarantee that they will be inexpensive. 

To find out where you may lawfully sell your items and how much it will cost you to do so, be sure to conduct extensive research on import rules, taxes, and levies (which vary by country) before making an international expansion. Tariffs on shipments from the US to the UK can be pricey due to the costs involved in international shipping and trade agreements between nations. These goods may be subject to a 20% VAT.

Getting Familiar with Customs and Duties

Customs are the import and export rules and legislation of a nation. The tariffs imposed by a government on imported products are managed and collected by the customs department. When a package reaches its destination, customs examines it and looks through the commercial invoice.

Before delivery of a shipment, a duty must be paid. A duty is a payment or tax. Each nation has different import duties with its own rules. It’s crucial to remember that buyers can be requested to pay extra charges before a cross-border product can be delivered. Customers may be discouraged from paying extra money to acquire their product because of these unforeseen fees. It is also important to note that as an e-commerce business operating in Europe, you are still responsible for packages even if a consumer refuses to accept their shipment.

Ending Note

E-commerce is expanding on a worldwide scale. Selling in Europe gives one a chance to start a business in every member state of the European Union (EU). This enables you to considerably increase the number of customers you serve and advertise your items in less competitive markets. You must first consider several elements to ensure seamless growth in Europe. A quick tip to roll off with is customers also like to know how much they will be spending on an item or service in their currency, which is why adding a currency converter to the mix has been found to increase sales by up to 100% for many e-commerce businesses. Please don’t hesitate to call us on 0204 504 1544 or contact us via the website for help and advice on how to set up a company overseas.

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