There are few countries in the world that have embraced the shift away from high street trading to online sales so comprehensively as the UK. As an early pioneer of e-commerce, it goes back over 40 years, long before the advent of the world wide web, when English inventor Michael Aldrich found a way to connect a modified domestic TV to a real-time transaction processing computer via a domestic telephone line.
The highly-developed online market that the UK has created is manifest in the dominance that UK e-retailers now have over their European counterparts.The UK’s future trade policy is perhaps the most significant aspect of the Brexit negotiations. According to the British Retail Consortium, the cost of a no-deal scenario on customs would mean annual customs declarations would jump from £55m to £250m and with four million trucks crossing the border between the UK and EU each year. New red tape, border controls and checks would mean delays at ports of up to two to three days for some products, and businesses and consumers would face higher costs, gaps on shelves and product shortages.
We found that British shoppers are far less reliant on other EU countries for online goods but this doesn’t mean things won’t need to adapt in a post-Brexit environment.