Cross Border eCommerce during Covid and Brexit | The ultimate Cross Border checklist for retailers.

5 minute read

Brands can no longer rely on a traditional retail approach by depending on physical stores to bring in the lion’s share of sales. Domestic eCommerce is, for many, the primary sales channel, expanding this internationally is the logical and necessary next step for merchants that want to spread their risk. 


The appeal of buying from abroad is growing among shoppers rather than diminishing. Cross border selling offers huge opportunity if embraced. And it may not be as complicated, time-consuming or expensive as you might think!


We looked at the challenges that cross border trade poses, and we put together a checklist for retailers to overcome them! 

Covid doesn't cancel Brexit.

Retail is going through a challenging time; most companies are still concentrating full time on mitigating the consequences of Covid on their business. As a result, many merchants parked their preparations and concerns about Brexit. But the Brexit implementation period ends on Dec 31st 2020.


The retailers that have responsive systems in place ahead of this will find themselves in the most flexible position when it comes to delivering cross border. But companies that aren’t are going to find it incredibly challenging and will certainly lose out on EU trade.


The good news is, that there is still time to act!

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“Changing the tech that runs your business is always a concern. With Scurri, scoping through to implementation was a breeze; go-live went without hiccups and our dedicated account manager is available whenever we need. We despatch thousands of orders a day, worldwide, using multiple rules and couriers.”

The added complexity.

UK retailers shipping to EU countries post-Brexit will experience additional complexities; from tax declarations, VAT implications, customs documentation to shipping and logistics concerns.


However, as long as you’re prepared shipping into the EU need not be confounding. The truth is that you can ship anywhere in the world with the right processes and systems in place.


The technology now exists to solve all Cross Border challenges efficiently, e.g. currencies, payment methods, duties and tax calculations, site translation, traffic generation and multi-carrier delivery management.


Implementing a suitable delivery management system like Scurri to get you Brexit and Covid ready can be done more swiftly than you might think. Scurri eCommerce shipping software allows online retailers to expand into new international markets with seamless cross border delivery, and our multi-carrier network means customers have access to competitively priced, international shipping rates.


“We just started using Scurri as our carrier management system – it’s enabled us to bring onboard a second courier very quickly and will enable us, as an ops team, to switch volume to a number of other couriers without needing tech support.”

The added cost.

If you’re expanding into an overseas market its important to consider the additional costs. Additional duties and customs fees all have an impact on your profit margin. And passing on the extra costs to the customers will deter shoppers.

Many buyers confess that additional charges such as customs clearance and other taxes would prevent them from purchasing on international websites. But there are solutions for these issues. 

Many Scurri customers use fulfilment centres in Europe to expand their offering and take advantage of local carriers in those countries via Scurri. More UK businesses are exploring the potential of setting up European warehouses for this reason.

And for Scurri customers that are shipping orders directly out of the UK, they can automatically generate the correct customs documentation along with the delivery label.

However, customs docs can increase your paperwork as each order requires three pieces of paper. Not only is this costly and terrible for the environment, but it’s also an extra step at the pack bench. BUT Scurri offers paperless cross border trade by including all customs info on the barcode of the delivery label.

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Scurri offers a full suite of expected functionalities we also achieve a very significant cost saving.” 

The added opportunity!

Cross border trade is growing in popularity with many territories showing interest in UK eCommerce sites.


  • The UK was the top European country purchased from by cross-border online shoppers in the EU in 2019.
  • 30% of online shoppers in Australia bought from a UK website in 2019.
  • The Nordics are above the European average for the number of eCommerce consumers, internet penetration and average spend per year.
  • In 2019 cross border sales made up 31% of all eCommerce sales in Russia, with Russian shoppers having an affinity for UK products.


Now is the time to prepare for the remainder of the year and beyond. New markets present new opportunities, it’s no longer necessary to keep your plans close to home.

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“There is nothing more important in modern logistics than getting your delivery right first time. Scurri plays a large part in our business as a whole.”

The ultimate Cross Border checklist for retailers.

  1. Customer experience comes first. Enabling shoppers to have a seamless and localised experience will bring them back for more.

  3. Research! Tax compliance varies in each country. Ultimately, you are, as a business, responsible when it comes to tax compliance, use a solution that automates calculations so your systems are always compliant with Tax laws and up to date with correct VAT rates.

  5. Leverage retail tech solutions and partners to make your Cross Border expansion a success by taking care of local currencies, payment methods, duties and tax calculations, site translation, traffic generation, multi-carrier delivery management.

  7. Shipping. Diversify your supply chain by being able to deliver into multiple territories with more than one carrier. This adaptability is essential for cross border success.

  9. Don’t be daunted by the complexity or timeframe, these solutions can be implemented in a relatively short amount of time you could be ready to ship to the whole world in under 3 months!

  11. And don’t forget to go paperless!

Laura Roche - Scurri content Marketing


Laura Roche Marketing Executive, Scurri

Laura Roche is a Marketing Executive at Scurri, managing social media and content marketing. Laura shares breaking news in the eCommerce space with our readers as well as sharing insights across the delivery and logistics landscape.

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