Since Brexit, UK companies have faced new hurdles in conducting ecommerce beyond their borders. The complexities of cross-border trade and changing regulations have posed challenges for expansion into the new markets. Today, UK businesses face a range of new regulations, tariffs, and customs procedures when conducting trade with EU member states. Navigating these complexities and adapting to the evolving trade environment has become a top priority for businesses seeking to expand their reach beyond the UK’s borders.

Still there are some actions to cross border trade and expand to the new markets. An advanced Order Management System (OMS) emerges as a crucial tool to overcome these difficulties and seize new opportunities across. In the following sections of this article, we will delve deeper into the specific difficulties faced by UK businesses cross border trading in the EU market, explore the benefits of expansion, and highlight how an OMS can provide essential support, particularly in finance and tax management, to empower UK businesses to thrive in the evolving post-Brexit landscape. By embracing the right technology and solutions, UK companies can unlock new growth opportunities and establish a strong presence in the European market.

Table of Contents

The challenges of cross-border trade


Expanding operations across borders has always presented challenges. UK businesses encounter additional hurdles in the form of regulatory barriers, customs checks, and potential delays in shipping and fulfilment that they didn’t face a few years ago.

A. Changes in regulations and tariffs

 One of the most significant challenges UK businesses face today is navigating the new regulatory landscape. With the UK no longer part of the EU’s single market and customs union, there are now distinct regulations and tariffs governing trade between the UK and EU member states. This means UK businesses must comply with new import and export rules, product standards, and documentation requirements when conducting cross-border transactions. The complexity of understanding and adhering to these changing regulations can result in delays, compliance issues, and potential additional costs, impacting the overall efficiency of cross-border operations.

B. Increased customs and trade complexities

The introduction of customs checks and controls at the UK borders has led to logistical challenges and delays in the movement of goods. UK businesses must now navigate customs procedures, declarations, and inspections, which were previously unnecessary within the EU single market when cross border trade in the EU market. These complexities can cause delays in shipping and fullfilment, leading to potential disruptions in supply chains and customer satisfaction. Managing customs duties and ensuring compliance with the various customs procedures further add to the intricacies of cross-border expansion.

C. Supply Chain Disruptions and Inventory Management

UK businesses are facing supply chain disruptions due to changes in customs procedures, border checks, and regulatory requirements. Delays at the borders and increased paperwork can lead to longer transit times for goods, impacting inventory management and order fullfilment. Maintaining optimal inventory levels becomes challenging when facing uncertainty in delivery times and potential stock shortages.

Furthermore, with the UK no longer part of the EU single market, businesses may need to source alternative suppliers or reconsider their supply chain strategies to comply with new regulations and ensure uninterrupted access to goods. This can involve additional costs and time spent on supplier evaluation and negotiation.

In light of these complexities, UK businesses are seeking effective solutions to navigate the new landscape successfully. In the next section, we will delve into how an OMS can offer vital support to UK businesses for cross border trade in the EU market.

Amidst the Challenges: The Upside of Expanding from the UK


Cross-Border Expansion After a Shift in Market Trends

Over the past decade, the UK ecommerce market has experienced remarkable growth, with online retail sales steadily rising from 2012 to 2021. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 further fueled this surge, as consumers increasingly turned to online shopping. However, 2022 brought an unexpected twist, marking the first decline in ecommerce sales in years. As the landscape evolves, UK ecommerce businesses are now setting their sights on cross-border expansion to tap into fresh opportunities and secure their future growth.

Value of online retail sales in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2012 to 2022 by Statista

Enhancing brand recognition and global presence

Cross-border expansion presents UK businesses with an opportunity to enhance their brand recognition and establish a global presence. As they enter new markets within the EU, they introduce their products and services to a diverse audience, allowing them to build a broader customer base.

Operating in multiple countries also boosts a company’s credibility and reputation. Customers perceive businesses with an international presence as more established, reliable, and capable of catering to diverse cultural preferences. This enhanced brand image not only attracts new customers but also strengthens customer loyalty, encouraging repeat business.

Furthermore, an expanded global presence can foster partnerships and collaborations with international distributors, retailers, and suppliers. These alliances can further elevate a company’s brand and enable access to new distribution channels, driving exponential growth.

Unexpected Help: How an Order Management System (OMS) Facilitates Growth

UK ecommerce businesses face a myriad of challenges when expanding into new markets. Despite the uncertainties and complexities, an unexpected ally emerges, offering a beacon of hope for growth and success; Order Management System (OMS). A powerful tool that has proved to be an unexpected help for businesses looking to thrive in the EU market.

In this section, we delve into the role of the OMS as a catalyst for growth, providing a seamless solution to streamline international operations, centralised inventory management, and automate fulfilment processes.

A. Streamlining cross-border operations

With the complexities of cross-border expansion post-Brexit, UK businesses need a robust solution to streamline their international operations. An order management system plays a pivotal role in this aspect by providing a unified platform that efficiently manages orders and inventory across multiple markets. By integrating various selling channels, the OMS ensures seamless order processing and fulfilment, enabling businesses to serve customers worldwide with ease. The OMS’s centralised approach minimises manual interventions and reduces the risk of errors, thus optimising operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

B. Automating compliance and regulatory processes

Manual fulfilment processes can be time-consuming and prone to errors, hindering the growth prospects of UK businesses in the EU market. Here’s where an OMS steps in to automate fulfilment and shipping tasks. Through intelligent algorithms, the OMS automatically defines the most efficient fulfilment method for each order, taking into account factors like proximity to warehouses, shipping costs, and delivery timelines. With automation in place, businesses can expedite their fulfilment processes, reduce shipping times, and improve overall operational efficiency.

C. Centralising Inventory and Order Management

One of the challenges UK businesses face when venturing into new markets is effectively managing their inventory and order processing. An order management system offers the advantage of centralising inventory data from various warehouses and stores, providing a comprehensive view of stock levels and product availability. This centralization enables businesses to make informed decisions about inventory allocation, ensuring they can efficiently fulfil orders from the most suitable location. By centralising order processing, the OMS ensures consistency and accuracy, leading to faster order processing and improved customer experiences.

D. Simplifying Finance and Tax Management with an Order Management System

Expanding cross-border brings not only operational complexities but also significant financial and tax considerations. As UK businesses venture into new territories, they encounter a web of financial regulations, tax laws, and compliance requirements that can quickly become overwhelming.
This is where our partnership with Keros Digital and their Order Management System (OMS) stands out, offering a comprehensive solution that goes beyond traditional OMS capabilities. With a specific focus on finance and tax management, Keros Digital OMS comes to the rescue, simplifying cross-border financial complexities and ensuring seamless compliance with tax regulations. Unlike many other OMS providers, our OMS solution goes the extra mile to empower UK businesses with a holistic solution that addresses their unique finance and tax requirements.

VAT Automation: One of the key challenges for UK businesses entering the EU market is navigating the complexities of Value-Added Tax (VAT) compliance. Keros Digital OMS equipped with advanced VAT automation capabilities can efficiently calculate, collect, and report VAT on cross-border transactions, ensuring compliance with tax regulations. By automating VAT processes, businesses can save time, reduce errors, and stay on top of their tax obligations seamlessly.

Custom Tax Management: Beyond VAT, each country may have unique custom tax requirements, duties, and tariffs that businesses must adhere to when shipping products across borders. An OMS with a robust custom tax management feature enables businesses to accurately calculate and apply custom taxes, ensuring smooth customs clearance and avoiding delays in international shipments.

By harnessing the power of an OMS, UK ecommerce businesses can overcome the hurdles of cross-border expansion and unlock the potential for growth in different markets. With streamlined international operations, centralised inventory management, and automated fulfilment processes, the OMS becomes the driving force behind their successful expansion journey. 

Smart OMS by SmartOSC

Accelerate Your Order Processing and Unlock the Power of Unified Commerce. Powered by Keros Digital

Easy Market Access with Keros Digital

In addition to overcoming challenges and unlocking growth opportunities, partnering with Keros Digital offers an added advantage: easy market access to the European Union (EU) and beyond. As a prominent European company, Keros Digital has an established presence and deep understanding of EU markets, making it an ideal partner for UK businesses seeking to expand across borders seamlessly.

By leveraging Keros Digital’s Order Management System (OMS), UK businesses gain a strategic ally that not only simplifies cross-border operations but also provides invaluable insights and support on navigating European markets. With a wealth of experience in the EU’s diverse business landscape, Keros Digital enables businesses to enter new markets confidently, expand their reach, and tap into a broader customer base.

With easy market access facilitated by Keros Digital, UK businesses can focus on what they do best – delivering exceptional products and services to a wider audience. Embrace the future of cross-border ecommerce with Keros Digital OMS and chart a path towards international success.

In conclusion, SmartOSC is the unexpected help you need to expand your business cross-border from the UK. Our partnership with Keros Digital Order Management System (OMS) streamlines international operations, centralises inventory and order processing, and automates fulfilment and shipping. With specialised expertise in finance and tax management, we simplify complex regulations. 

Contact our sales team today to explore the possibilities and embark on a journey of international success. Together, we’ll revolutionise your ecommerce operations for unparalleled growth.

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