The EU is a prime player in international trade; as one of the world’s most open, outward-focused economies, the EU’s single market has achieved a strong standing on the global stage. The combination of Europe’s established position within international markets and the rising popularity of ecommerce have created the ideal environment for international brands to expand there.
You may have a business in the U.S, UK or elsewhere and you may feel like expanding to the EU is complex and out of reach, but we’re here to remedy that. The EU can provide you with stable and fertile ground to grow your business in 2024 – here are our top 10 reasons why you should sell into the EU right now!
1. The EU is the largest economy in the world
2. The EU’s ecommerce market revenue is set to increase
Revenue generated in the ecommerce market within the EU is projected to reach 828.3 million this year and is expected to show an annual growth rate of 13.83%. It bodes well for international sellers that the ecommerce market in the EU is going from strength to strength, as this indicates the volume of purchases EU shoppers continue to make.
3. It has a secure legal investment framework that is very open and transparent
The European Union accounts for 27 countries and is responsible for negotiating an individual trade policy for each of its member states. These agreements are made on a mutually beneficial basis, so that both EU and non-EU sellers gain fair conditions and access to wider markets to support sustainable development and business growth.
4. The EU’s success is inextricably connected to the success of the businesses that trade with it
For businesses in both developed and developing countries, the EU’s free trade policies offer an environment of sustainable development to expand and grow your business in. This creates equal opportunities for businesses around the world to benefit from the EU market in 2024 and beyond.
5. There’s a wide range of popular marketplaces within Europe
In the EU, Amazon and eBay are still favourites amongst consumers, however in each member state there are a range of marketplaces that are popular amongst shoppers there. For non-EU businesses who want to target a specific member state that would suit your respective niche, opting for one of these marketplaces could be beneficial. This could be Cdiscount in France, Beslist in The Netherlands or Real.de in Germany, wherever you intend on selling, there will be a marketplace to compliment it.
6. Clothes, home accessories and cosmetics consistently top the list of popular EU products
A survey carried out by ICT in 2021 found that 54.8% of goods purchased were clothing and shoes (including sportswear), 23.4% was home accessories or furniture, and 21.8% involved cosmetic products. For lots of international businesses looking for popular goods to start selling to EU customers, clothing and cosmetic products are some of the easiest to ship safely and successfully cross-border, making for happy customers and brilliant business.
7. The number of ecommerce users in the EU is set to increase
The number of EU shoppers using ecommerce as their means of buying goods and services is set to increase, reaching 569 million by 2025. In 2020, The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany had the most citizens purchasing goods and/or services online. There are also new markets to watch as over the last five years, significant increases in ecommerce shopping have been recorded in Romania, Czechia, and Hungary!
8. Average revenue per ecommerce user in the EU has gone up over recent years
Revenue per user in the EU is projected to amount to £1,163 in 2024, with user penetration estimated to be rising to 61.6%. This figure is set to reach 66.5% by 2025; this refers to the number of users there are for a specific product. So, in the coming years there will be more and more viable buyers for your goods or services, making the EU market a lucrative pool of potential customers!
9. EU shoppers are frequently making cross-border purchases
In 2020, 88% of consumers who made purchases online bought goods/services from sellers cross-border from national sellers and 22% from non-EU sellers. Plus, alongside the increasing incidence of cross-border marketplace sales, EU shoppers are not deterred by potential customs clearances in order to access the quality goods they are looking for.
10. VAT schemes have been introduced to aid international sellers
In July 2021, VAT compliance rules for both EU and non-EU sellers changed. Mainly, these changes emphasised that VAT should now be charged and collected where the customer is based, rather than where the seller is located.
It was understood that this may apply additional administrative burden to ecommerce businesses already busy schedules, so two new schemes were introduced to streamline the compliance process. The OSS (One Stop Shop) and IOSS (Import One Stop Shop) are both devised to enable EU and non-EU sellers to collect and report the VAT collected on their cross-border sales through a single online portal.
At SimplyVAT.com our international experts are always happy to help you navigate international VAT and are always at hand to answer your questions. If you’re unsure of your international VAT obligations, or would like to get VAT registered, fill out the form below and a member of the team will be in touch.
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