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  • Ahead of their session at eComm Live on 28th April in Belfast, Peter Hughes, E-commerce Business Development Director, DHL Express UK and Mark Meade, Head of Enterprise, Business Development and E-commerce, DHL Express IE, share their thoughts on maximising the eCommerce opportunity.

    E-commerce became a lifeline for so many businesses throughout the lockdowns of the last two years. Whether through established platforms, or a hastily created marketplace profiles, online sales boomed. Despite shops reopening and some balance returning between on and offline worlds, e-commerce looks set to continue on a growth path.  

    For businesses that have built their confidence and their sales selling online throughout the UK, there’s an even bigger opportunity out there. Estimates suggest there are 2bn online shoppers worldwide, so it’s no wonder that e-tailers trading internationally reach 10-15% higher revenue than those only open to UK customers.

    Here are some ways to maximise this opportunity.

    Make your new customers feel welcome

    It’s important to identify which markets to open up to first. The U.S., France and Germany are the biggest trade lanes for UK businesses but there are opportunities in many others, depending on what you’re selling. Once decided, it’s a good idea to make sure your shop window shows you’re open for business; a clearly visible banner on the home page will tell visitors from other countries right away that your goods are accessible to them.

    According to our research 75% of internet users don’t make important purchasing decisions unless the product description is in a language they can speak and 98% of online shoppers prefer to pay in their local currency so it’s worth going that extra mile with translations, currency conversions or offering local payment platforms.

    Make returns simple

    Online shoppers have come to expect simple and quick returns processes and it’s no different for consumers in other markets.  According to our research 66% of shoppers check an online retailer’s returns policy before making a purchase and 49% have been deterred from making a purchase by a company’s returns policy. It may seem counterintuitive to plan for returns but many of our customers have seen sales increase after enhancing their returns offering.

    Offer a reassuring and transparent delivery option

    Unsatisfactory delivery options and pricing are among the biggest reasons why shoppers drop off retailers’ websites. Premium express shipping offers international customers reassurance, while transparency about delivery charges make a huge difference when it comes to conversion. It’s also worth considering the benefit of including customs and duty charges at checkout as our research shows that 70% of consumers want to see and pay for them at this stage. 

    Make your commitment to sustainability clear

    As sustainability continues to be high on the agenda for consumers, being clear not just about your ambitions but also your actions will be appealing to shoppers. Research shows that 88% of customers are more likely to be loyal to a company which supports environmental issues[1], and 74% of customers say a company’s sustainability practices matter more than they did a year ago[2]. With this in mind, there is an opportunity for businesses to offer more sustainable shipping options, such as our Go Green service.

    Don’t try to do everything alone

    Selling internationally is a major opportunity for growth but small and growing businesses shouldn’t try and do it all or do it alone. It’s important to get expert advice to supplement your own knowledge. At DHL Express, we support our customers every day through website health checks, preparing shipping documentation and clearing goods through customs, providing tools to calculate duty and tax prior to moving goods across borders. With this support you have the confidence and capability to grow.

    Tickets for eComm Live 2022 are on sale now at

    Sync NI readers can use code ‘SYNC20’ to receive 20% off all tickets.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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