Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or a big fish in a big pond?

That is the question Anett Toth, OGOship's Head of Sales in the UK and Ireland, asks. Because, if an e-commerce business wants to become a globally-recognized and well-known brand, it usually requires having the guts to exit the comfort zone.

For most UK-based e-commerce businesses, the first phase in stepping out of the familiar domestic UK market is to sell their products in Central Europe. When the foothold is established, it is time to move on and conquer even more new markets, maybe overseas.

­“Many e-commerce businesses solve their international sales and logistics needs by having a custom solution for each market”, Anett explains. That, however, might not be the best solution in the long run.

If you think about your international setup as point-to-point solutions, you might end up causing a lot of confusion. A simple task like a stock update could mean three different scenarios in three different areas. You might do it with your 3PL partner's order management system in one market. The used system and its functioning logic could be completely different in your second market. Perhaps in the third market, you'd be doing the same task old-school via an Excel spreadsheet.

It doesn't take much to notice that multiple operating ways, systems, and methods leave much room for inefficiency, potential mistakes, and frustration. And, in the e-commerce world, mistakes cost money.

Anett Toth, Head of Sales in the UK and Ireland, OGOship

Maturity levels

The United Kingdom is one of the largest and most mature e-commerce markets globally. It is the fourth-largest market for e-commerce with a revenue of US$118 billion in 2021, just ahead of Germany and slightly behind Japan.

“The maturity level of the UK market is something we need to always keep in mind when we do business in the UK”, Anett continues. The needs and considerations of e-commerce businesses operating in the UK are significantly more advanced than in many other markets. The consumer’s expectations towards online stores are on a whole different level too.

Anett's colleague, Business Development Manager Tanya Chang, explains this thought further. In the UK, for instance, a customer would never settle for the option to collect their delivery from a parcel collect point. The ordered items must be delivered fast and door-to-door. On the other hand, many Scandinavian consumers prefer to collect their deliveries. In order to succeed in your international growth, you need to be aware of the similarities and differences within markets.

With all this, OGOship can help. OGOship offers e-commerce businesses the ability to sell their products in multiple markets in a simple way. Once you are an OGOship customer, entering new markets is just as easy as trading in your current market. One platform enables e-commerce businesses to use data to make better decisions and optimize e-commerce logistics on a global scale. With our in-depth knowledge on different markets and international teams, we can advise and share knowledge of the requirements and demands in each market. With all markets operating in a streamlined fashion, e-commerce businesses can save time and money – and grow.

Tanya Chang, Business Development Manager, OGOship

4 tips for UK-based e-commerce businesses looking to expand

Anett and Tanya have some considerations to share for UK-based e-commerce businesses considering expanding their operations to new markets.

1. Do your research

If you are thinking about expansion, market research is crucial. Make sure to analyze your current sales and identify possible trends in the order destinations outside of your domestic market. That will give you an indication of which area would be most beneficial for expansion. 

Once you narrow down your main sales target, research the local trends regarding your products so that you can enter/target the market in the correct way from day one. 

At OGOship, we have an international team, so we can provide you with knowledge about market-specific likes and dislikes, favored platforms, and shipping methods. 

2. Simplify

As your company expands, you might need solutions outside your domestic market. Typically, you will need new partners to enable your market expansion. Multiplying the markets may come with new challenges, preferences, and systems.

Having one system and one partner for all your fulfillment needs might save you from nightmares and headaches.

With OGOship, you can expand domestically and globally under one trustworthy roof.

3. Offer attractive shipping options to all customers

Try to offer the same, great customer experience for your international customers and your domestic ones. Customs and tax issues should no longer be an excuse for lengthy and confusing order journeys.

With local solutions, you can cater to all your customers equally by giving several shipping options across the globe.

4. Avoid costly mistakes

Pick a partner who cares about your customers’ experience as much as you do. At OGOship UK, we have a perfectionist mindset, which means we have no room for mistakes.

We care deeply for you and your customers' experience, and we are willing to take extra steps to make sure that our operations setups are customized for your needs. 

We are always happy to chat with you, so don't hesitate to contact us.