Episode 13 : An overview of our GEE Expansion Webinar Series
A little over 13 weeks ago, we launched a brand new webinar series dedicated to the process of E-commerce expansion into Europe and the UK – concentrating on a different area of our work with clients each week.
With over 2000 successful brand and business expansions under our belt, an ever-growing list of partners we work alongside and recommend, and knowledge of the best marketplaces and seller platforms that you should consider as part of your expansion, GEE is a one-stop solution for all your seller needs as you expand in European and UK markets.
The GEE expansion webinar series was designed to showcase every aspect of the journey to becoming a global enterprise – with this blog pinpointing some of the biggest lessons we’ve shared so far, followed by the onboarding process that you can expect with GEE.
What we’ve covered in the series so far
In an effort to uncover and answer some of the biggest questions around E-commerce expansion and growing overseas, our webinar series has touched on and discussed:
- Market research – finding out which platforms are best suited to your products and your brand, and determining who your competitors would be
- Feasibility studies – considering where your products sit in the target market, and determining whether or not there is a genuine demand for what you want to sell
- Compliance & VAT – making sure that you are paying the right tax in your target country, that labels are fully compliant with local regulations, and that you have a listed responsible person with a local address lined up for importing goods
- Localised listings
- Customs and shipping
- 3PL services and their benefits – that is, the fulfilment arm of our offering, which enables you to access our warehousing solutions, delivery, shipment, and returns services as part of a package deal
- Promotion and marketing both through marketplace sites and your own website
A common theme running through the series so far has been the investment potential of global expansion, and whether expanding and working your way into the European and UK market is a worthwhile venture. We cannot hide from the fact that expanding overseas is hard work and requires significant investment of time and funds – however, the potential that comes from approaching a new market is huge.
After all, to grow in your current marketplace you have to add new products to your offering – but to grow globally, you need only take your existing products to a bigger pool of customers.
We certainly know which one we think is easier!
The GEE onboarding process
When you decide to expand into Europe and the UK and choose to do so with the support of Global Ecommerce Experts, you are transitioned into our onboarding process. Here’s what happens and what you can expect from that process.
When you start thinking about expanding into a new country’s seller market, you are required to provide a multitude of details/ documents.
Tax is a big part of the expansion process, because if you aren’t set up and paying the correct tax on your imports and products, then your business is not operating legally in your target country, and you face heavy penalties and bills in the future. Each country across Europe and the UK has its own tax rules and regulations, with GEE able to support you in ensuring that you pay the right tax in each location.
We do this by collecting director information relating to your brand or business, and information about the company itself – with the two needing to compliment and match each other to ensure a smooth process. Again, this is an area that our team will support and help you through – however it is important to recognise the need for continuity from the start.
In addition, local governments will all request different documents and information as part of the tax process – however, again with the help of GEE this all becomes streamlined and benefits from our comprehensive checks before being submitted, thus minimising the chances of applications being rejected.
Another service that GEE offers in relation to onboarding and supporting the expansion of your brand overseas is label compliance, for the benefit of both the end customer and for the security of your brand’s listing on an international marketplace. This is something which forms a big part of our onboarding process because it is the stage at which we ask you to submit your labels and products – culminating in a report where we will outline all required and recommended changes, plus information on which category your products fall into in their target market.
And then we have the 3PL fulfilment service which GEE offers as a fundamental part of our client package – whereby clients can list GEE as their responsible person, organising the warehousing, distribution, and acceptance of any returned products. Prior to being able to fulfil this service, we ask that clients fill in a comprehensive file which feeds directly into our warehousing system (MintSoft), with as much information about each and every individual product that you will be selling as possible. This information links up to our system and allows us to manage the stock levels, inventory, importing, packaging, and more of every product that we distribute on your behalf – creating a smooth end-to-end process.
Of course, we couldn’t offer a complete end-to-end expansion service without the help of partnerships with UK and European marketplaces.
Some of these are the obvious big players in the global market like Amazon, Onbuy, eBay and Wish, while others offer more specialised and targeted support such as Payoneer and AVASK. As part of our webinar series, we have explored a number of these partners and will continue to highlight their benefits in coming blogs and videos that we share as part of our support for sellers looking to expand.
Look out for the final part in our webinar series next week, where we’ll be talking about exit strategies, how to place your brand in the best position and achieve a fantastic offer from an enthusiastic aggregator.