Twinkle | Digital Commerce

Brexit: reacties uit de internationale e-commerce branche

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De Brexit heeft niet alleen gevolgen voor Britse e-commerce spelers, maar ook voor online verkopers wereldwijd. Hoe reageert de internationale branche op het aankomende vertrek van de Britten? Experts uit de UK, Frankrijk, Zwitserland, China en Thailand vertellen.

Jonathan Chippindale, chief executive van het Britse bureau voor augmented reality Holition, vindt het eigenaardig dat de UK voor een Brexit kiest in een tijd waarin de wereld samenkomt op het gebied van technologie en digitalisering. Zijn reactie vanuit het kantoor in Londen:

‘Personally, along with almost everyone I know, work with or have dealings with here in London, the result is a very difficult one to take - we are all firm believers in the European project and were very proud to stand up as being British first, but also as being European as well.  Sadly, large swathes of the country outside of London felt differently and now we have to look to the future.  From my point of view, London will no doubt remain very pre-European and I believe that the impact of this decision will be negligible, especially spread out over the considerable period of time all this will take to implement. We will remain an important partner with Europe and with the rest of the world, and in the end business will ensure that we are not allowed to drift too far apart. But it is not the result that I had hoped for, and I find it idiosyncratic that in a world that is being drawn ever closer by digital and technology, Britain has decided to go in a fundamentally different direction.’

Jorij Abraham, director Research & Advise van Ecommerce Europe, wijst ook op het mondiale karakter van verschillende markten:

‘In my personal opinion I think it is a shame. Not only for the British, but also for Europe as a whole. Markets are becoming global very, very fast at the moment. The consumer is discovering that he can buy products for half the price (or less) directly in China. Technology wise we are already dependent on the USA as innovator and Asia as producer. While Europe is fragmenting and looking inside, the world is moving forward. When people look back in 2100, they will see that it has been the century where China has become the leading global power, followed by the USA, while Europe has made its name validated as being the ‘old world’.’

Franck Boniface, secrétaire général/ executive vice president van de Franse online retailer Vestiaire Collective zegt vooral niet in paniek te raken. ‘Ik heb het gevoel dat ik een beetje alleen sta in mijn mening dat de EU ook prima functioneert zonder onze Britse vrienden’, zegt hij. Boniface’ volledige reactie:

‘It is true that it is scary as we are entering in an unknown zone. In a short term, Vestiaire Collective will definitely have to mitigate the impact of the decrease of £. As a matter of fact, the supply coming from the € zone will obviously look more expensive for our UK buyers. To reduce this unfavorable effect, we have the chance to supply a large part of our products from UK and will subesquenlty merchandise as much as we can our UK supply to our UK buyers to workaround the currency effect.

For the rest of the expected impacts, let’s try to avoid the panic mode and as our UK friends say “Let’s wait and see”  how this exit turns in the 12 coming months.

I feel a bit lonely in my position right now! But I am confident in EU ability to leverage the current challenge and make EU even better and stronger, refining the overall position of this organisation. I also believe that the long and fruitful relation we built with our - Brit -  friends will keep going on thanks to EU & UK pragmatism!’

De Italiaan Carlo Terreni, general director van NetComm Suisse Association, geeft een reactie vanuit zijn persoonlijke roots en de Zwitserse aard van zijn bedrijf:

'As a passionate Italian, I must say that I am saddened by the Brit’s vote to leave and see it as potentially detrimental for e-commerce cross-border regulations, especially in light of separatist movements in France already “making noises” to try to do the same. However, beyond that initial emotional response, the impact of Brexit may in fact have positive residual effects on the Swiss business environment. New fiscal reforms here now actively promote innovation by digital and e-commerce corporations in Switzerland. This added with the political stability of the country makes it more attractive environment  for international businesses looking to penetrate the EU market. Additionally, the exit vote sends a signal to the remaining EU administrators to step up to the plate and perhaps be more proactive in their efforts to address existing infrastructure issues and make the Digital Single Market a reality.'

Cheng Ouyang, executive senior advisor van het Alibaba Research Institute, denkt dat de Brexit invloed heeft op de positie van de UK in de e-commerce markt wereldwijd:

‘My view is that UK's exit from EU, may reduce its weight on ecommerce landscape of global ecommerce companies. UK would have less influence on EU's market and policy development. As well, its exit would reduce its importance and function as a logistic hub for ecommerce companies. However, due to devaluation of UK's currency, in the short term, it may be expected that UK's export to China via e-commerce and tourists from China be increased.’

Thomas Kroman, chief marketing officer van het Thaise WearYouWant, vreest voor een versnipperde Europese markt:

‘I’m worried that the Brexit will set a precedent and that an ill-conceived exceptionalism will spread and spearhead a weaker and more fragmented European market. This could certainly impact cross border trade immensely which for many e-commerce companies is business essential. Let’s hope this will stay contained to only one member nation.’

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