Have you received the Brexit letter from HMRC and how will it affect your online selling?

Post by Dan P Picture of Dan P
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Having built, developed and run online stores over the past 10 years I’m fairly confident in running an online store business, but often things are thrown at you which are out of your area of expertise!

Oh no! A letter from HMRC on my desk!

Earlier this year I had an example of this when we received a letter from HMRC regarding Brexit and selling abroad.

Our core business is building, hosting and supporting other online stores, but we also have an online store of our own and we sell internationally through Marketplaces such as Amazon.

I have to be honest, despite my confidence with selling online a pang of stress and dread hit me when I saw the letter arrive on my desk.

I realised that many of my friends and connections are probably going through the same thing.

HMRC Letter

I decided to speak to some of my contacts who are the experts and get some advice and perspective

So who do I know that is an expert when it comes to export??

The answer; Samantha Bridger from Bridger Consultancy

Sam specialises in helping companies looking to expand their sales via exporting and she will be able to advise on what we need to be doing as an online retailer selling abroad in preparation for Brexit. Here’s what she had to say on the matter:

I can so understand why this letter has hit Dan so hard. Letters from HMRC rarely contain good news. Everything seems very confusing at the moment with Brexit and no one seems to have any answers.The main thing is not to panic.

After the extension negotiated between the UK government and the EU, no changes will come into effect until November 1st, 2019. Talks between the 2 parties will continue and depending on the outcome, we are looking at some kind of deal (who knows what!) or no deal. But the good news is we have some extra time to prepare.

Businesses should prepare as best they can. So what should you be looking at? The first thing is to see what might be affected in your business like larger strategic issues such as supply chain or employees. Other things to look at are terms & conditions and pricing, as these may be impacted by changes in duty and taxes. Talk to your suppliers and partners like your freight forward or logistics partner and see what help they can give you.

Talk to your customers. Remember they still have an interest to buy from you so let them know how your plans are going so they feel more secure. 

For more detailed information take a look at this comprehensive guide is given by the British Chamber of Commerce.

Or Contact me through www.bridgerconsultancy.co.uk 

Samatha Bridger

So what about from a web perspective?

Another thing to be preparing is your online store of course. Considerations to be made include:

  1. Will you need to prepare different tax rates or shipping charges?
  2. Does your store have the ability to make these changes and can you do them yourself?
  3. It might be worth checking with your web agency now to ensure your store has the options should you need to make changes.

Get ready for implementation!

I think at the moment it’s difficult to make any changes until we know for certain what changes need to be made.

So it’s not necessarily about making the changes yet, just being in a position that you can move quickly if and when you need to.

This should continue the user experience and keep them on your website for longer, to increase conversions and contribute to the goal of your content.

If you need any advice or help with preparing your online store for Brexit, get in touch I’d love to grab a coffee and learn more about your business.

Dan Pala

Dan P

Digital Strategy Director

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