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Cross-border trade in a post-Brexit world at Retail Without Borders

By Sasha Fedorenko March 19, 2019 - 10:01 am

With 10 days to go until Brexit, many merchants are wondering about the outlook of cross-border trade in a post-Brexit world. To answer this question a panel A World Of Opportunity: Cross Border Trade In A Post Brexit World was held at Retail Without Borders with guest chair Jon Snow, and panellists including Chrystalla Spire, Group Legal Counsel at We Are Pentagon Group, Simon Batt, CEO at wnDirect, Murray Lambell, Vice President UK Trading at Ebay and Claire Taylor, Founder & CEO at Simply VAT.

Challenges in a post-Brexit world

Chrystalla Spire Group Commercial Director at We Are Pentagon Group said that there’ll be challenges with the arrival of Brexit. Sellers that wish to enter foreign marketplaces will often stumble upon compliance issues. She especially pointed to trading on marketplaces that are extremely strict with customer regulations, data protection and these factors have to be taken into consideration when the UK ends its membership with the EU. To address the hurdles of cross-border trading We Are Pentagon created a retail model, which enables brands and retailers to successfully expand internationally by removing the complexity which such endeavours usually entail. She described this solution as the one that enables merchants to easily engage with the international marketplaces and remove any friction along the way.

How can marketplaces facilitate international trade?

Simon Batt, CEO wnDirect holds a positive stance when it comes to relying on marketplaces to expand into different territories. He said that currently, it’s easier to trade with consumers from Madrid than from Manchester because of the support merchants get from their marketplaces when selling internationally. He argued that if there is anything positive to come out when Europe leaves the EU it would be an understanding of customers, processes and compliance.

Finishing up the discussion Chrystalla said that Retail Without Borders wasn’t set up with Brexit being in mind but it actually focuses on marketplaces being a good platform to ease merchants into the international trading.

While there is still much uncertainty and a lot of theorising of the retailing fate after Brexit, we have created a Brexit flowchart which sets out the various routes that Brexit could go up to the 29th of March and what options this will leave the country after the EU summit depending if an extension is granted.

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