European Union unveils plans for Single Digital Market
The European Union has announced its intention to create a Single Digital Market for eCommerce. This announcement has sent shockwaves through the eCommerce industry over the last few months, since the EU first announced its intention of conducting an enquiry into cross border eCommerce in March – but what exactly is the Single Digital Market, how will it work, and what could it mean for UK based Amazon sellers, and sellers on similar marketplace websites?
What is the Single Digital Market?
Currently, many eCommerce websites use geo-blocking to ensure that their customers cannot access their websites for other countries – for example, Amazon does not allow UK users to access its German site. In addition, complicated rules regarding VAT also mean that shopping on foreign sites is not as simple you might think, and you can end up paying more for items that cost less in the first instance due to added taxes and customs charges. To get around this and ensure that eCommerce customers have access to a fairer online market, the European Union is considering implementing a Single Digital Market, where users can access eCommerce websites in every country, and won’t have to worry about tax implications. This would mirror the system we have in real life, where you would be able to travel to France and buy products for a cheaper price than in the UK. The Single Digital Market is simply replicating this online.
What does this mean for UK based Amazon sellers?
Essentially, it means that Amazon sellers based in the UK could see cross border sales increase dramatically in a short space of time, and whereas currently posting internationally may be a rare occurrence, it could soon become commonplace. This increased demand for international postage has some UK based Amazon sellers, and sellers on other sites like eBay, worried about how they might cope with the increased costs and number of orders. As a result, many UK sellers are looking into outsourcing their orders to an eCommerce fulfilment company that can pick and pack their orders and send them off to their international destination.