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In addition to this series, we’ll be participating in special Brexit webinar with taxation specialists Avalara and delivery gurus Shipstation in late April. Fancy joining us? Sign up for our newsletter to receive the details later this month!
Today we’re wrapping up our Brexit Essentials Series with a look at the customer communications required to support changes to taxation and customs arrangements.
In short, as a merchant, you need to communicate the impact of these changes on your EU customers. This involves thoroughly updating your customer policies, onsite messaging, emails, and marketing activities with transparent information on how things work in the post-Brexit world. So let’s get started…
As discussed in our taxation post, merchants need to choose between Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) and Delivered at Place (DAP). If choosing the former, it’s well worth highlighting it at every opportunity. Not every brand will make the additional effort to cover this expense!
However, whatever the decision, merchants need to communicate this clearly to customers during the purchasing process to avoid a nasty shock when the parcel is delivered. As such, product pages should outline delivery charges for the UK and clearly link to your overall delivery page for more details.
Then of course your delivery page and general customer terms and conditions need to be fully updated.
In addition to delivery, note that import taxes and customs duties will also apply to goods that are returned or exchanged. Consequently, you’ll need to explain to your customers how they will be affected. For example, will you be refunding the taxes and duties?
Again, like with delivery information, prevention is better than cure! Flag this clearly during the purchasing process so your customers can make an informed decision.
After amending your customer policies, don’t forget to systematically update all of your onsite messaging to support this. For example, product pages will need to flag whether delivery prices apply only for the UK only (and where to find EU delivery information), link to information on customs, and flag any longer delivery times or potential issues. Also, geo-target pop-up offers and incentives if they are now UK specific.
Messaging on automated emails for things like order confirmations, dispatch confirmation, product review requests, and brand advocacy emails may need to change in the post-Brexit landscape. If so, be sure to segment your data so customers are receiving the correct information for their location. Remember you may also need to update UK messaging should deliveries be affected by delivery delays for goods incoming to the UK.
Again segment data for your regular emails. If you’re no longer selling your full product range in the EU you can then create bespoke emails when required.
Have you updated your marketing campaign and promotions checklists, creating new tasks for when things need to vary for EU customers? For example, to avoid embarrassing (and potentially expensive) mistakes, ensure your promotions advertising is geo-located with appropriate creative and messaging. So if you’re running a UK only 15% off everything promotion, you really don’t want your advertising showing for customers living in the far-flung corners of the EU.
Also be sure to communicate this to third parties you’re working with, whether they be affiliates or social media influencers.
Your customer service and social media teams are on the front line, answering questions directly from your customers. As such, they need to not only to know what the changes are but also feel confident communicating them through live chat or Instagram direct messages for example.
Creating and distributing a succinct “cheat-sheet” of all the details they need to know is a great start. Follow-up with a zoom session to discuss this so the teams feel secure referring to it during customer conversations. Also, once they’re up and running for a while, be sure to find out how it’s working out and update your strategies accordingly.
So that wraps up the final part of our Brexit Essentials Series! As discussed above, clear communication is the all-important final touch. This ensures your earlier diligence on taxation and customs changes are correctly explained to your customers and their goodwill is retained.
If you’ve got more questions on how Brexit impacts your eCommerce site, don’t despair! Join us for a Brexit webinar with tax specialists Avalara and shipping experts Shipstation in late April (date to be confirmed).
Want to attend? Sign up for our newsletter in the footer and we’ll send you details later this month.
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