Ecommerce in the New Post-Brexit Era

Brendan Walsh
January 20, 2021
Ecommerce in the New Post-Brexit Era
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Businesses in the UK, France and the rest of Europe are facing an unprecedented period of transition following the UK’s departure from the EU at the end of 2020. In this new version of reality, companies are already grappling with supply chain challenges and looking for certainty as they navigate uncharted waters.

So how can the marketplace model bring much-needed flexibility post-Brexit, over and above a traditional linear business model?

While the relationship between the UK and the EU may have drastically changed, demand from UK consumers and businesses has not. Consumers are still looking to purchase from the widest product range at the best possible prices.

The already upward trend for online shopping has rocketed in response to Covid-19, setting in motion a permanent shift towards eCommerce in the UK. An estimated 17.2 million UK consumers will permanently change the way they shop as a result of the pandemic, redirecting their spending online.

Retailers and B2B companies active in the UK need a flexible business model to support and transform their current eCommerce strategies to meet the ever-evolving demand of their customers.

Let's look at why the marketplace model is the best fit in the context of Brexit:

A marketplace reduces risk by widening the pool of sellers supplying products

Why is this so important?Firstly, to avoid out of stocks. The Mirakl Marketplace Platform creates the flexibility a marketplace operator needs to excel in the market, even when supply chains are interrupted. By diversifying the range of sellers, marketplace operators can leverage an alternative supply chain when there are problems with the original seller and guarantee stock supply. Equally, the flexibility of the marketplace allows the operator to reactivate any seller as soon as they have overcome obstacles in their supply chain. The key: the customer never faces the frustration of an out-of-stock product. By guaranteeing a secure flow of stock through a marketplace, retailers and companies are free to focus their energy on developing other vital elements of their omnichannel strategy – best pricing strategy, promotions, optimised delivery, to name but a few.

Second, to give customers more choice. It’s simple - more sellers equals more products, equals more choice. The marketplace model helps retailers and businesses to meet the constantly growing expectations and demand of consumers for variety and constant availability of products.

A marketplace ensures cost effectiveness

When the costs of goods go up in response to Brexit (or other unpredictable market trends), a marketplace empowers an operator to pivot their eCommerce strategy so they can still provide the best possible value to buyers. At the drop of a hat, an operator can use the Mirakl Connect Ecosystem to seamlessly and quickly onboard more sellers, and as a result encourage price competition.

Plus, by extending range through third-party sellers and therefore reducing the need to stock inventory, the marketplace model offers a unique opportunity to save on warehouse costs, again enabling the marketplace operator to offer their customers the best possible value. Without a marketplace structure, it would be impossible to stock the level of inventory needed to respond to consumers’ high demand for product variety without incurring high costs.

Mirakl’s technology enables the marketplace operator to be fully compliant with new post-Brexit VAT rules

From 1 January this year, new VAT rules on the sale of goods in the UK came into place. With the Mirakl Marketplace Platform, marketplace operators and sellers will have the necessary configurations/ features available to help them manage these new rules. By joining this ecosystem, both marketplace operators and sellers also have access to a pool of knowledge on how their counterparts are dealing with challenges created as a result of the new VAT rules.

If you have any questions regarding your existing or future marketplace strategy contact the Mirakl team. We will be delighted to accompany you on your marketplace journey.

Written by
Brendan Walsh
Executive Vice President Sales, EMEA

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