Although the UK could be just days away from triggering Article 50, 68 per cent of retailers have yet to start planning for Brexit.
According to a new survey of 250 British retail decision-makers commissioned by Global-e, 51 per cent of retailers also believe the vote to leave the EU has already impacted UK sales.
In addition, 21 per cent of retailers have seen sales increase in the UK, while 30 per cent have seen sales fall and 47 per cent of retailers have seen no impact at all.
Comparatively, 32 per cent of UK retailers that sell internationally have seen online orders from outside the UK rise as international shoppers take advantage of the weakened pound since the Brexit referendum.
Despite this, the survey found that retailers were positive about the future, with 62 per cent stating that they feel “confident” or “very confident” they can continue to flourish internationally once the government triggers Article 50.
However, 48 per cent of retailers expect the economy to weaken, making it more expensive to import goods. In turn, 63 per cent of retailers think prices will increase in UK stores.
“As the Brexit bill moves through Parliament, retailers are facing up to the reality of what Britain’s exit from the EU might mean,” Global-e co-founder Nir Debbi said.
“Although some retailers have revised their plans, our research suggests that most are taking a wait-and-see approach, before considering whether to change course.
“In the months since the EU referendum took place, most retailers have already felt some impact, with many of those that operate internationally seeing an increase in sales from online shoppers worldwide due to the weakened pound and growing trend for cross-border e-commerce.”
Debbi went on say that the effects of Brexit could be “less black and white” than expected.
“While many retailers that sell imported goods to UK shoppers have seen prices rise due to the weakened pound, those that sell to international shoppers on the web appear to be reaping the rewards of cross-border e-commerce, with 32 per cent seeing sales increase,” Debbi said.
“However, relying on currency fluctuations will not be enough for long-term success. To make a success of cross-border e-commerce in Brexit Britain, retailers should review the experience they offer to shoppers in Europe and around the world.
“With the right preparation, technology and processes in place, retailers can seize new opportunities and tackle any challenges created by Brexit, to drive online sales internationally.”