E-commerce businesses within the UK now have a wonderful opportunity to retail their products to USA citizens. Since March 2016, the USA has raised the value of imports that an individual can do without incurring import duty and taxes on UK products.
As a result online retailers within the UK have a new market of goods valued at 200$ – 800$ that can be marketed to Americans without the need for duty and taxes to be added on. This is seen as a huge opportunity for retailers based in the UK. Particularly for UK brands that are popular in the USA such as Net a Porter, ASOS, Top Shop and Burberry. Although with the rise of the online sellers platforms users of online marketing websites such as eBay, Etsy and Amazon allow the smaller UK brands to also offer their products to American Consumers.
This rise in duty free value is very important in minimising the delivery cost of sending a parcel to USA as a percentage of the total selling price. This particularly effects the higher value sales in the 500$ – 800$ band. Recent surveys have suggested that the American consumer has a positive impression of British brands. Indicating that UK firms have an amazing opportunity in the USA..
Obviously to get the maximum advantage of this opportunity the retailer has to source and offer cheap international courier services to keep the price of deliveries down. DHL have started to offer a flat rate for delivery to the whole of the USA so that retailers no longer have to be fearful of incurring any remote area surcharges. Making it much easier for the retailer to sell and deliver to all destinations within the USA. They have also adopted a pre alert text message service that can reduce failed deliveries.
The USA has previously been seen as a difficult marketplace for UK businesses, after Tesco with its Fresh and Easy as well as Marks and Spencer have both suffered in trying to crack the market. However the online UK retailers are seen as having lower costs and much higher chance of success. They also have the added advantage of speaking the same language and therefore there existing customer services teams should be able to understand and deal with all USA customer service enquiries in a professional way.
It will be interesting to see if the UK online retailers are able to adapt their offering to take advantage of the opportunity. Already in the first couple of months of the new system seem very promising as carriers are reporting a substantial increase in the value / basket size of goods being ordered by American consumers.