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Entering the European Marketplace

When it comes to online retail, things are moving quickly and ecommerce stats continue to trend upwards every year. In 2020, as the result of global lockdowns, consumers shopped online in their droves. According to Shopify Plus, by 2021, worldwide retail ecommerce sales will reach $4.9 trillion.

You have made the wise decision to take your brand to the next level by entering the European market, so what’s next? RedSky Europe have come up with Ten Top Tips to get you ready.

Top 10 Tips for Entering the European Market

  1. WEBSITE
  2. LANGUAUGE ON WEBSITE
  3. CURRENCY
  4. PRICING
  5. SOCIAL MEDIA
  6. REVIEWS & FEEDBACK
  7. LOCALIZED FULFILLMENT
  8. SHIPPING
  9. RETURNS
  10. HOLIDAYS & SEASONS

 

WEBSITE

Build a website to target customers based in Europe. You can easily mirror your existing site and tweak accordingly. Incorporate an appropriate SEO strategy and avail of the less expensive European CPC rates in comparison to the U.S. rates. Europeans like to see a URL that reflects a localized website which shows the products are fulfilled in located in Europe. It is important that customers know they will not face delays with customs, duties or any unforeseen charges.

Examples of European domains:  www.petproducts.com/EU or www.petproducts.com/Europe

LANGUAGE (Localisation)

Your US site will be written using North American English. In Europe, we recommend using British English. The biggest difference between the two is spelling and pronunciation.

For example:

American                           British
Color                                   Colour

Fulfillment                          Fulfilment

Center                                 Centre

Organize                             Organise

Honor                                  Honour

Bank check                        Bank cheque

Car tires                              Car tyres

CURRENCY

The prices you display to customers in the E.U. should be in Euros (€). This reaffirms that your orders are fulfilled from within Europe offering a better customer experience. Ideally have an app installed on your website that will display the correct currency based on the location that your customer is in. Most website platforms offer currency converter apps/plugins which are well worthwhile as they really add to the customer experience.

PRICING

Prices on your European website do not need to be the same as your US site. You now offer a localized fulfillment solution and European customers are happy to pay more for that. Remember, your customers are getting a better experience, and this is where the real value is.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media platforms are one of the best ways to let people know that your products are in Europe and one of the most cost-effective methods to promote your brand.

According to UPS, in 2019, ecommerce online stores with a social media presence had an average of 32% more sales than those without social media profiles.

Carefully executed campaigns can have a hugely positive impact on your brand. If you need assistance in this area there are plenty of experts here in Europe that have experience in bringing international companies into this marketplace.

REVIEWS & FEEDBACK

Reviews from customers that have purchased from your European site in and had a great experience carry a lot of weight and legitimise your European strategy and build trust. Around 70% of people consult ratings and reviews before making a purchase. (PowerReview)

Ask customers for feedback, let them know tell that you want to offer the best possible experience for European customers. Knowledge is key and people like to help.

LOCALISED FULFILMENT

Having your inventory with a reliable 3PL fulfilment partner is essential to entering the European marketplace. Offering cost effective delivery, fast shipping and localized returns are not only key to giving a great customer experience but are now expected by customers.

SHIPPING

Highlight the fact that products are dispatched from Europe, with no hidden fees or delays with customs. Generally standard shipping in Europe takes 2 to 4 days, depending on destination.

An increasing number of companies are offering Free European Delivery over a certain order value and it’s another great incentive to promote online. This really shows you are committed to Europe and the experience you want to offer your customers.

RETURNS

Highlight that you offer localized returns; it is a major USP and like your delivery, well worth promoting on your homepage. Customers hit the “Add To Cart” button easier if they know that returns are localized and not international.

HOLIDAYS & SEASONS

Be aware of what holidays and seasons are good for online sales in your sector. Days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now as lucrative in Europe as in North America. Holiday season 2020 is shaping up to be the biggest yet for the ecommerce industry with consumers worldwide still airing on the side of caution about shopping in person due to COVID-19.  Are you ready?

If you have the right products and can implement our tried and tested suggestions, then there is an eager community of over 500 million consumers ready and waiting for your brand to take on Europe.